MOTORISTS will be overjoyed by Hampshire County Council’s confirmation that phase one of Whitehill and Bordon’s new relief road to support the regeneration of the town is due to be completed today.

The first phase of the relief road is part of the Homes and Communities Agency’s delivery of Louisburg Barracks which will see 500 new homes, a new future skills centre, a new business and enterprise centre and further employment sites delivered.

Rob Humby, the county council’s executive member for environment and transport, said: “The completion of phase one marks an exciting and important milestone for the relief road which is critical to relieving congestion on the A325.”

Road closures on phase one began this summer, on June 6, and were expected to last for 18 weeks.

The first section, costing £6.8m has been completed by council contractor Raymond Brown as scheduled. The work will see the Broxhead Farm Road diversion removed and the new roundabout at the northern end of the relief road opened up for through traffic on the A325.

Temporary traffic lights will remain on Broxhead Farm Road junction, which will be manned during peak times to aid traffic flow for two weeks, to reinstate the junction.

Mr Humby said: “The council is committed to supporting the successful regeneration of Whitehill and Bordon and we are working with partners to deliver this project along with the Future Skills Centre and a brand new campus for Mill Chase Academy.

“I would like to thank the residents who live along the diversion route and to those who travel through this area on a daily basis, for their patience while this vital work was carried out.”

Kevin Bourner from the Homes and Communities Agency said: “As owner of the site, the HCA has invested £6.8m to kick start the town’s regeneration.

By funding and commissioning the road direct, the HCA has unlocked housing delivery and the employment land at Louisburg Barracks. This represents a major milestone in the delivery of the new homes, jobs and skills that Whitehill and Bordon needs.”

Phase one of the relief road comprises just over half a mile of new road through the Louisburg Barracks site connecting with the A325 in the north.

There are three brand new roundabouts along the relief road, two within the site of the barracks to provide access to the new development areas to the north and south of the road and the third connecting the new road with the existing A325.

County councillor Adam Carew said: “I visited the site at the end of the summer with councillors Mark Davison and Ian Georgii. We were all very impressed with the progress on the northern section of the relief road. Reopening the A325 road over Broxhead will avoid the need for diversions via Lindford.

“I believe residents will be very relieved to get back to normal, however work will begin shortly on the southern section of the relief road following the route of the old railway. It is essential this heritage is recorded before it changes and I believe the county’s archaeologist has this in hand.”

Construction of the second part of the relief road is now under way.

Mr Humby added: “We are working closely with all our partners to make sure this project runs as smoothly as the first phase.

“Phase two will see the biggest section of the relief road being built.

“It is two miles in length and the full cost is just over £20m. It’s thanks to the council’s skills, capacity and expertise we are able to deliver a project on this scale which will benefit people living and working in the area for generations to come.

“Carillion will be setting up on site from October 21 with main construction works expected to start in November. The majority of construction work will not affect residents or commuters as it is constructed on Ministry of Defence land to the west of Whitehill and Bordon. There will be occasions when diversions and road closures will need to be put in place for the safety of road users as well as our workers. We are in discussion with Carillion to ensure disruption to residents and businesses in the surrounding areas are minimised and work can be carried out more quickly.”

The southern section will pass between the garrison redevelopment area and Hogmoor Enclosure and will include a double roundabout junction at the southern tie in with the A325.

In addition, two traffic light-controlled junctions serving the new Garrison housing development and the Oakhanger Road intersection will be provided.

The work is due to be completed in the summer of 2018. Phase two is being constructed and managed by Hampshire County Council, utilising £15.5million of Local Growth Fund from the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership plus a £5m of council funds.

Geoff French, chairman of Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership said: “This project provides the critical infrastructure required to unlock the development sites and support wider regeneration by reducing the severance currently created by the A325.

“It is a key component in the transformation of the area into a more attractive investment proposition for businesses, supported by a more reliable transport network. Our investment will help bring forward the delivery of 3,350 new homes, 63,000 square metres of new employment, commercial and community floor space and create up to 5,500 jobs.