No changes for A3 roundabout
PLANS to install traffic lights at the A3 Ham Barn roundabout have been put on hold for at least five years.
The proposals to alter the roundabout were put forward by transport bosses as a measure for coping with the expected traffic increases at what will be the only obstacle to free flowing traffic between London and the south coast once the £371m Hindhead Tunnel opens next summer.
Residents fear the junction could become the new Hindhead for traffic jams and delays and have called for action to be taken before the tunnel is opened.
The changes were discussed last month at a meeting held between the Highways Agency, Hampshire County Council and East Hampshire District Council.
Putting in traffic lights was one of three options considered. The other two were getting rid of the roundabout altogether or keeping it as it is. It was decided that the roundabout should be kept in its current state until 2015.
Highways Agency route performance manager Paul Benham said: “As part of our ongoing study into possible future improvement options for the A3 Ham Barn roundabout, we have recently met with Hampshire County Council and East Hampshire District Council to discuss our findings to date, and to consider the next steps.
“There was broad agreement that the ‘do nothing’ option is acceptable, albeit in the short to medium term, given that the roundabout does not generally suffer significant congestion.
“It is important to stress that we have no immediate concerns about the performance of this roundabout, nor are we concerned about its performance post the Hindhead Tunnel opening in the summer of 2011.
“Any possible future improvements made at this location will of course be considered in the context of available funding and national and regional priorities.
He added: “We are not expecting any significant improvement to take place in the vicinity of Ham Barn roundabout until beyond 2015.
“We will continue to develop our study into the options – ie roundabout signalisation or removal of the roundabout – both of which have positive and negative impacts that will need to be taken account of before any final decision can be made. There may also be other options to explore.
“As the study progresses, we will keep the lines of communication open with Hampshire County Council and East Hampshire District Council.”
Frank Park, of Longmead in Liss, was glad the idea of traffic lights being put in at the roundabout had been dismissed.
He said: “That would have been the most silly thing. All it would have done was transfer the traffic from the Hindhead lights down to the Ham Barn roundabout.
“I think just doing away with the whole roundabout would be the best option myself.”
Mr Park felt motorists approaching the Ham Barn roundabout from Liss found it difficult getting on to the road because of the amount of traffic travelling south.
He said: “We all suspect it will become even more difficult once the tunnel opens. There will be nothing to stop traffic coming down until they reach the Ham Barn roundabout. It is going to be a real struggle to get on to it from Liss.”
l WHAT DO YOU THINK? Will the Ham Barn roundabout become the new Hindhead when the tunnel project is completed next year? Send your views to: Post Series, 33 High Street, Petersfield, Hants, GU32 3JR or e-mail: email@example.com
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Petersfield
Tuesday 10 December 2013
Temperature: -1 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 3 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: South east