Road safety campaign moves up a gear after MP witnessed cars driving wrong way along road

Basingstoke Gazette: A car crosses on to the wrong side of the road, watched by Sir George Young A car crosses on to the wrong side of the road, watched by Sir George Young

CAMPAIGNERS calling for the layout of a confusing interchange to be improved have moved a step closer to their goal after their MP witnessed cars driving the wrong way along the road.

As previously reported in The Gazette, campaigners are putting pressure on the Highways Agency to improve the safety of the A34 slip-road at Tufton Interchange, heading north into Whitchurch, which has become a hotspot for accidents and near-misses.

Campaigners, who claim the layout is confusing and results in drivers going the wrong way, want to reduce the speed limit of 60mph on the first right-hand corner of the slip road, and to improve the layout where it intersects with a country lane called Nun’s Walk.

However, the Highways Agency has said that the four accidents on the A34 junction with Nun’s Walk and Winchester Road during the past 10 years had nothing to do with the layout.

Campaigners met with North West Hampshire MP Sir George Young last Friday at the interchange, and shared their concerns.

And while chatting to the group, the MP witnessed several cars on the wrong side of the road.

Following the meeting, Sir George told The Gazette: “I did see a number of cars on the wrong side of the road coming off the northbound slip way. If there had been anything coming the other way, it could have been quite serious.

“We discussed a range of cost-effective solutions, including putting physical barriers where the hatchings are and making it clearer that the road is two-way.”

Sir George said he would discuss the matter with the Highways Agency, and added: “I’m very sympathetic, and the solutions don’t cost a lot of money.”

Mike Stead, from Newbury Street, Whitchurch, believes putting poles along the hatching would be a “good solution.”

The 40-year-old father-of-three, who is an IT consultant, said: “They could be installed or removed quickly and easily, and should a driver hit them, it would be no worse than some scratched paintwork.”

He added: “Now a senior minister of the crown and former transport secretary has witnessed an innocent motorist being completely misled by a road’s design, and has heard from locals that far from being a rare mishap, this is a daily occurrence.”

The Highways Agency said there was no further comment to make, but added that the agency would speak to Sir George.

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