Cycle Route Junction 9 M3/A34 Winchester and Easton Update August 2012
Amazingly, 12 months has elapsed since the last update.
Below is a summary of the current situation.
First of all, the good news! We have made progress but there is still work to do.
NCN23 is now complete from the City Centre to the start of the first subway on the Winnall side. NCN23 is also complete from the Long Walk/Easton Lane junction to Alresford.
The only gap in NCN23 north from Winchester is the subway system.
As already advised, Hampshire County Council (HCC) and Highways Agency (HA) are considering changes at Junction 9 to increase capacity. This would include increasing the number of lanes on the southern overbridge from 2 to 3. There would be 3 narrow lanes, each of 3m in width. To allow this to happen, the width of the buffer strips between the carriageway and the footway would be reduced – that between the outside lane and the overbridge footway would be reduced to 0.30 m. We fear that items such as lorry wing mirrors would overhang onto the footway.
The CTC objected strongly to this proposal. The good news is that there does seem to be a change of attitude with regard to our use of the subway systems. Below is an extract from an email from HCC on 4th July 2012.
“The capacity improvements to J9 of the M3 have been put forward by the Highways Agency for Pinch-point funding. The HA are likely to know if the bid is successful in the autumn. If it is successful it is intended that the HA will lead on the detailed design and delivery of the scheme and HCC will feed into this process. As outlined to you previously, we have discussed with Enterprise Mouchel (the consultants working on behalf of the HA) the cycling issues through the junction and the intention is for the detailed design to include design options associated with the formalisation of the cycle route through the subways. The position with respect to cycle access over the southern overbridge is that due to the parapet heights and the footway width of the southern overbridge, it is likely that "cyclists dismount" signs will need to be erected for the section of the route over the bridge”
This represents good progress as there seems to be an admission that cyclists could be included in the proposals and also that Highways Agency has accepted a “relaxation” in standards with regard to the subway heights. However, there is still the issue of the overbridge and there is still no commitment to include a cycle route in the design.
For that reason, the CTC is still pursuing the claim for a right of way through the junction. In view of the added threat posed by the proposals to increase capacity at the junction, we formally applied to HCC (a different department) requesting accelerated processing of the claim. Fortunately, HCC agreed to this request and the claim is now No. 2 in the list behind another one that has also been prioritised. This is good news.
It is still not too late to complete a form so if you know of anyone who would be prepared t complete a form please refer them to http://www.southhampshirectc.org.uk/attachments/M3-J9-A34UserEvidenceForm1.pdf
We have had support in our campaign from various sources but I should particularly like to thank our MP, Steve Brine. Steve has been very supportive and has corresponded with Highways Agency on our behalf and raised the issue in a debate on cycling earlier this year.
If you have any queries on the above, please do not hesitate to contact me.
7 Ruffield Close Winchester, Hampshire, SO225JL