Next steps in strategy to improve A27 traffic flow
Wednesday, 24 July 2013
Proposals that form part of a package to reduce congestion on the A27 between Fareham and Segensworth have been approved by Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment.
The agreed phased strategy aims to reduce delays to general traffic and help ensure the continued success of the BRT Eclipse services by providing consistent journey times.
The plans include a bus gate to allow buses to bypass the Quay Street roundabout and easily access the A27 westbound, and a new off-carriageway bus lane to replace the current on road bus lane - allowing Western Way to revert to two lanes of general traffic. The strategy also includes improvements to the A27 roundabout and junction with Gudge Heath Lane to remove these bottle necks and keep traffic moving, enhance connectivity between rail and bus services and enhance the provision for cyclists and pedestrians .
Due to the scale of the project it will need to be completed in phases. As an interim measure only, it has been agreed that the on-carriageway bus lanes being trialled remain in place, but with some changes to reflect feedback from road users, until the off-carriageway bus lanes can be provided. This is to enable the benefits that have been experienced by the Eclipse bus service passengers to continue while reducing delays for general traffic.
The trial bus lanes have helped journey time reliability on the Eclipse services, which contributes to public satisfaction with the service and the 64% increase in passengers on the Eclipse E1 and E2 services compared to the previous 82 and 86 services. The number of people travelling between Gosport and Fareham by bus has increased by 12% overall.
The Council has recognised that while being successful in relation to the benefits for Eclipse services, experimental bus lanes have resulted in objections by road users in relation to increased congestion for general traffic particularly at Station Roundabout. As a result the bus lane will be reduced by 36metres to enable two lanes of traffic on the western approach to Station Roundabout and this will also require the deletion of the Avenue section.
Councillor Seàn Woodward, Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, said: "The A27 provides a local alternative to the M27 and is a critical east to west transport artery. It is a heavily used route that experiences significant peak hour congestion and improvements are considered essential, not only to improve existing traffic flow but also to enable regeneration and economic growth. The proposed strategy can now be taken forward and developed into detailed schemes to be submitted for future funding bids."