A MULTI-MILLION pound scheme to transform a busy Basingstoke roundabout and improve traffic flow has been altered.
The Government-backed £10million estimated project would have seen two-way traffic pass through the centre of the 40-year-old Black Dam Roundabout, connecting the M3 junction 6 slip road to the A339, and would have been Basingstoke’s first so-called hamburger roundabout.
But the Highways Agency has radically changed its original plan for two-way traffic and is now planning to direct four lanes of northbound traffic into the centre of the roundabout instead.
An additional two-lane arm is also set to be added to the roundabout to allow motorists travelling on the A30 to join the centre of the new roundabout, easing congestion for people going to the town centre and on the A339.
The scheme is also set to see the realignments and widening of all approaches, the installation of safety barriers, new traffic signs, signals and street lights.
The Highways Agency amended the original plans after staff carried out investigations into the scheme and decided the new layout will offer more benefits for motorists.
Construction work on the improved roundabout will begin in July – and it is expected to continue until March 2015.
The redevelopment of the busy roundabout was announced by the Government in 2012, as part of its national Pinch Point Programme, after the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership, involving representatives from private and public sector organisations from north Hampshire and Surrey, submitted a bid for the cash.
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has put £500,000 towards the improvements and £874,000 is coming from Hampshire County Council.
The scheme is seen as a key part of plans by the borough council for the town to be seen as a leading business centre in the South East, and would complement its regeneration project at Basing View, which includes a new John Lewis at home and Waitrose store.
A Highways Agency spokesman said: "We are working with Hampshire County Council to reduce congestion on this busy roundabout, and to provide road users with reliable journeys.
“The design has been revised to improve traffic flows for southbound traffic, based on results from our detailed traffic modelling.”