Call for action at A3 blackspot

Thursday 8th September 2016 9:17 am
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Approaching the notorious Ham Barn roundabout on the A3 near Liss ()

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COUNTY, district and parish councillor Adam Carew has stepped up his call for action to replace the A3 Ham Barn roundabout near Liss with a flyover after yet another major accident on the main route from London to the south coast.

The incident at the junction serving Greatham and Selborne saw nortbopund traffic tailed back several miles to Petersfield with delays of over an hour.

Cllr Carew has asked for Highways England to take action.

“The idea of putting a roundabout at Ham Barn rather than a flyover was ludicrous,” he told the Herald, “and something needs to be done.”

His campaign was prompted after he witnessed an accident where a large lorry overturned on the roundabout several weeks ago, although a few years ago there was an average of a lorry crash every week there because of the camber of the road.

Cllr Carew added: “Surely it is time, having sorted out the Hindhead Tunnel, for Highways England to go back to the drawing board and find a safer solution here for all concerned.”

When Hindhead Tunnel was opened in 2011 it was thought it was going to give a free flow of traffic both to London and the coast after years of hold-ups at the infamous Hindhead traffic lights.

However during evening rush hour, and on holiday weekends, the southbound carriageway of the A3 has long queues of drivers returning from Guildford or London or heading for the coast.

A public consultation for the building of the new A3 route from south of Petersfield to north of Liphook was held more than 30 years ago but when a flyover was suggested for the Ham Barn junction residents said it would be intrusive in the landscape and putting in an underpass was ruled out because it would have upset the water tables.

So the roundabout, now used by 21,000 vehicles every day, was built. But from the start the camber proved a disaster for any high-sided vehicles and several turned over even negoptiating it slowly.

Now a second Road Improvement Strategy (RIS) is due to be drawn up by the Government and Highways England to provide guidance to ministers over which road projects should be included in the next plan.

A spokesman for the agency said “If there is a road or junction the public thinks should be included in the next RIS then they should let us know about it.

“The RIS includes ongoing maintenance to roads and any areas where there are safety concerns.

“We supply information which helps to form Government policy. Now is the time to let us know about any problem areas and we can feed these into the process,” he said

The second RIS will cover works planned for after 2020.

The A3 through Guildford - another accident black spot and bottleneck - was included in the first RIS and a plan to alleviate traffic problems around it is due to be drawn up.

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