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Public notice

Traffic order proposals - A331 Blackwater Valley route and associated slip roads - 50 mph speed limit

The proposal to change the speed limit is subject to statutory consultation process. Find out more details of the proposed changes and have your say.

WHAT ARE WE DOING?

Speed reduction along the A331

From June 2019, the speed limit will be reduced from 70 mph to 50 mph, between a point just south of the Coleford Bridge Junction and the Frimley Road junction. This is an extension of the 50mph speed restriction already in place between the A325 Frimley south-facing slips and the A331 / M3 J4 signallised roundabout, (see figure 6), and extends it further south by approximately 1.8km.

 

Monitoring will be undertaken along this link using diffusion tubes to monitor the effectiveness of the speed reduction measure.

 

Once compliance with the annual mean NO2 EU limit value has been achieved, the 70mph speed limit will be reinstated.

Speed reduction.

Bradford's Roundable Improvement Works

In addition to the speed reduction measure along the A331, The Blackwater Valley Group has been awarded a grant of £438,685 from the Department for Transport's Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU) Early Measures Fund to implement a scheme to improve air quality on the A331.

 

Currently vehicles exiting the A331 are caught in congestion on the south eastern approach to Bradfords roundabout. Queues currently occur for west or northbound traffic on the A331 link road because southbound traffic from the A325 has priority at the roundabout. Vehicles are currently queuing back approximately 60 metres from the roundabout at peak times.

 

The scheme seeks to reduce queues by creating a third lane on the northern side of the eastern arm of Bradford's roundabout, within the existing grass verge. The third lane will provide additional capacity for traffic entering the roundabout and wishing to proceed to the west or north, or back to the A331 to the east.

Implementing this scheme will reduce congestion and queuing, and result in less congestion on the part of the A331 identified as not being compliant with the EU Limit value post 2020. The proposed scheme is predicted to remove an additional 4.4 tonnes of NO2 emissions over 10 years

The scheme will be delivered by Hampshire County Council on behalf of the partnership by 2020 and fully paid for by the JAQU grant.  

Please read our Full Business Case and accompanying appendicies submitted to the JAQU for approval by the Secretary of State on the imprementations of measures to improve air quality along the Blackwater Valley Relief Road.

Notes from the grant submission

Bradfords Roundabout is immediately to the east of the northbound A331 off-slip at Frimley, providing a link between the A331 and the A325, as well as access to Farnborough and the Farnborough Gate retail park.

Two plans showing the location of Bradfords Roundabout, north of the A331.

Improvements to traffic flow at Bradfords Roundabout, (principally to improve egress from the A331 and onto the local highway network), had already been identified as a potential scheme in the Farnborough Growth package, but had not been prioritised for improvement.

The current issue at this location is that vehicles exiting the A331 are caught in congestion on the south eastern approach to Bradfords roundabout.

Queues for west or northbound traffic on the A331 link road are caused by southbound traffic flow from the A325 having priority at the roundabout.

Google maps excerpt showing local congestion during the AM peak.

Vehicles are currently queuing back approximately 60 metres from the roundabout in both the AM and PM peak.

The scheme would create a third lane on the northern side of the eastern arm of Bradford’s roundabout, within the existing grass verge as marked in pink on the sketch below:

Indicative sketch of Bradfords RAB scheme.

 

The third lane will provide additional capacity for traffic entering the roundabout and wishing to proceed to the west or north. These movements also include u-turners from the Farnborough Gate retail park.

 

Implementing this scheme would reduce congestion at this location, reducing the amount of time vehicles are idling and improving flows from the A331 onto the local highway network.

 

As part of the Farnborough Growth Package work a microsimulation model was produced which indicated the proposed scheme has the potential to alleviate congestion along the eastern arm of the roundabout and the nearby northbound off-slip from the A331.