Southampton City Council to commence next stage of ambitious plans to improve access to Southampton from the east

Southampton City Council is to start work at the A334 Thornhill Park Road/Hinkler Road junction as part of plans to reduce congestion on the eastern approach into Southampton. The council’s Highways Partners, Balfour Beatty Living Places, will renew the traffic signals at the junction to help improve the journey times of people driving on this major route carrying 15,000 vehicles a day.

The £360,000 scheme is being funded by Highways England as part of a wider package of measures to improve traffic flows and provide better information to people driving into Southampton from Junction 7 of the M27. The upcoming work on the A334 comes after Highways England successfully upgraded the traffic signals at Junction 7 earlier this year and will complement other improvements being delivered as part of the ongoing M27 SMART Motorway project.

The scheme will see the current traffic signal technology at the junction updated to a more dynamic, reactive system that responds accordingly to changing conditions and will ensure that levels of traffic are managed efficiently at all times. This will help reduce queues and delays for people driving at peak hours between the A334 and Junction 7, as well as on the A27 around Kane’s Hill Roundabout. As part of the work, a new Enhanced Variable Message sign will be installed at Maybray King Way to support wider technology improvements along the corridor. Similarly, signalised priority for buses will help public transport services operating between Hedge End, Bitterne and the city centre to run more reliably. 

As well as upgrades to the traffic signal technology, the junction will also receive new crossing facilities to aid people walking and cycling. These will better connect Kootenay Avenue with Hinkler Road, improving access to nearby Kane’s Hill Primary School and Woodlands College. Some minor works will also be carried out here to discourage anti-social behaviour on the path to Kootenay Avenue.

The measures follow the completion at the start of this year of the council’s major £5.8m project to improve journey times on the A3024 Bursledon Road. This was just the first phase of ambitious plans for both the A3024 and A334 routes, which together form one of the busiest corridors into Southampton. The scheme on the A334 Thornhill Park Road/Hinkler Road junction signals the next stage of these plans, with further improvements to be delivered by Highways England at M27 Junction 8 and A27 Windhover Roundabout and proposals for the replacement and widening of the A3024 Northam Rail Bridge, to be delivered by Southampton City Council subject to funding.

Councillor Steve Leggett, Cabinet Member for Green City and Place, says:

“Our long-term transport strategy, Connected Southampton 2040, sets out our bold plans to improve journey times and reduce congestion for those entering the city from the east. We’ve already made an excellent start on this, having delivered a comprehensive package of transformative measures on the A3024 Bursledon Road. The upcoming works on the A334 will contribute even further to this, delivering better and more innovative traffic signal technology to improve traffic flows and support more reliable bus travel on this important route with connections to Hedge End and Botley.”

Work at the Thornhill Park Road/Hinkler Road junction will begin on 19 October and is expected to last eight weeks. During this time, the Thornhill Park Road/Hinkler Road junction will be closed to ensure that work can be carried out as efficiently as possible. The diversion route will be signed via Bursledon Road. Towards the end of the project the junction will be completely closed to allow overnight resurfacing works.