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M3 Winchester junction to undergo major overhaul


Highways England has unveiled plans to give the junction linking the M3 and the A34 in Hampshire a major upgrade which will dramatically improve people’s journeys.

As part of the Department for Transport’s £15 billion Roads Investment Strategy, Junction 9 of the M3 will be redesigned to include dedicated free flow lanes, allowing drivers to avoid the junction roundabout if they are travelling between the M3 and the A34.

The roundabout itself is also set to be revamped to include a new ‘dumbbell’ layout that will improve both safety and capacity, while also having a positive impact on journey times.

Highways England project manager Simon Hewett said: “Junction 9 is a vital interchange between the M3 and A34. With more than 6,000 vehicles using the junction each hour during peak times, it can often become congested, with queues backing up onto the main carriageway.”

Winchester itself is set to undergo a period of redevelopment as 11,000 homes are set to be built, creating 17,200 jobs in the process.

If approved, the plans to revamp the junction will be a major boost for the area, although it is not the only development as cycle routes and footpaths are also to be upgraded to complete the gap in route 23 of the National Cycle Network.

Dr Mike Short CBE, Chairman of the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) said: “This scheme is a key investment in our transport infrastructure to support the local economy by easing transport congestion, which businesses in our area state is a major barrier to growth.”

The plans are a vital part of enhancing the strategic corridor that runs down from the North, through the Midlands and all the way to the Port of Southampton.

If the plans – which are in public consultation until mid-February 2018 – are given the go-ahead, construction could get underway in 2021 and take nearly two years to complete.

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