Further improvements for Basingstoke's Alençon Link agreed
Monday, 08 October 2012
Hampshire County Council has given the go ahead for a £1.5 million scheme to make the Alençon Link, Basingstoke, easier and safer for everyone to use and a more attractive entrance to the town centre.
Improve the area's appearance
The main focus of the improvement plans is to boost the appearance of the area, with a brighter, more airy environment to be helped by planting an avenue of new trees. Currently there is an overgrown bank on the north side creating an imposing, dark atmosphere. This will be removed and a new, shared use pedestrian and cycle path will be constructed within the more open environment, benefitting from the increase in natural light as a result of the changes.
The new pedestrian and cycle path will make for easier access to reach the town centre, with better footways on the south side and the replacement of the existing subway with a signal controlled, pedestrian crossing at road level. This will be between the Chapel Hill roundabout and the exit ramp from The Malls car park, making it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to cross the road. These are further examples of the dramatic improvements recently undertaken on the Alençon Link, following those at The Malls, the rail station and bus stops.
Scheme to start in 2013
The developer funded scheme is expected to start in early 2013, with the first stage of the work scheduled to be finished around Easter 2013. It is only during this first stage that traffic will be affected, beyond this all work will take place off the road. During these early stages of construction, temporary traffic lights will be used to help keep traffic flowing as smoothly as possible, but there may be a noticeable impact, especially at busier times.
'Listened to people's concerns'
Leader of Hampshire County Council, Cllr Ken Thornber, commented:
"I think most people would agree that the existing route in this area of Basingstoke is both unattractive and unappealing, especially for pedestrians and cyclists. A number of people have told us that they do not feel that it is a safe route into the town but, currently, there is no alternative. We have listened to people's concerns during consultation for the Town Access Plan and their views have helped to shape the final design for this scheme. When it is completed, we hope it will dramatically improve the appearance of this access to the town centre, making it safer for all road users.
"With a scheme of this nature, it is inevitable that there will be some disruption during the construction period but we have done all that we can to keep this to a minimum and, on behalf of the County Council, I would ask all road users to bear with us as we work to finish the scheme."