Major improvements start to ease congestion in Fareham and Gosport
Thursday, 30 January 2014
Work is starting on Monday 10 February 2014 to improve traffic flow and bus priority on the A27 Western Way and Western Road, and the A27 Western Way bus lane in Fareham.
The scheme includes a new bus gate, which will be installed at the intersection of the A27 Western Way and Western Road. Alterations to the existing A27 Bus Lane, on the approach to Station Roundabout, will also be made to make way for a new traffic lane.
The work for the whole project is due to last approximately nine months, from February to November 2014, with Dyer & Butler carrying out the work on behalf of Hampshire County Council.
Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, Councillor Seán Woodward, said: "The A27 provides a strategic route across South Hampshire 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. To enhance and build upon the success of the recently completed Eclipse BRT, these new measures will further ease congestion, increase safety and improve journey times at peak hours around Fareham and Gosport.
"While the trial bus lanes along Western Way helped improve journey time reliability on the Eclipse services, which contributed to public satisfaction with the service, they did however cause increased congestion for general traffic, particularly at Station Roundabout. We listened to residents' views and will be opening up two lanes of traffic on the approach to Station Hill roundabout while still keeping a dedicated bus lane."
The scheme will be carried out in two phases to minimise disruption. The first phase will include the A27 Western Way / Western Road bus gate which will start on 10 February and take approximately three months to complete. The second phase of construction will alter the A27 Bus Lane and will follow on from the bus gate works, starting in early May, taking approximately six months to complete.
The bus gate will be a signal controlled junction at the intersection of the A27 Western Way and Western Road and will detect when buses are approaching, to give them priority. The bus gate will improve journey times for the Eclipse Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) services to ensure its continued success by allowing them to bypass Quay Street Roundabout, providing a faster and more direct route onto Western Way, which in turn will free up road space for general traffic.
Work on the Western Way Bus Lane (Phase 2) will reintroduce a general traffic lane to improve capacity and reduce queues and delays for all traffic, including further improvements in bus journey reliability for the Eclipse BRT. To help make way for the Bus Lane alterations and new traffic lane, work to clear vegetation and trees will start in January.
Road closures will be required throughout the works, but these will generally take place overnight. Advance notice signs will be erected.
Cllr Woodward added: "It is inevitable that these works will cause major disruption and I would urge drivers to bear with us while we complete them as quickly as possible. Businesses and shops will remain open as usual so please do not avoid the area.
"These improvements are part of a wider strategy which I believe will greatly improve congestion in Fareham and Gosport making it a more desirable location to live, work and visit."