A MULTI-MILLION pound scheme to transform a busy Basingstoke roundabout has moved a step closer after the borough council agreed to release £500,000 towards the project.

Construction work on the Government-backed £10million estimated project to improve the Black Dam Roundabout, connecting the M3 junction 6 slip road to the A339 is expected to start in July.

The project will see four lanes of northbound traffic routed into the centre of the roundabout as well as an additional two-lane arm added to the roundabout to allow motorists travelling on the A30 to join the centre of the new roundabout, easing congestion for people going into the town centre and on the A339.

The redevelopment scheme, which is part of the Government’s Pinch Point Programme, is also set to see the realignments and widening of all approaches, the installation of safety barriers, new traffic sign, signals and street lights.

Councillors on Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Cabinet approved the release of £500,000 in support of the project and agreed to transfer council-owned land to Hampshire County Council to enable the work to begin. The land which will be transferred includes grassed areas near the Black Dam pond, London Road and an area of land off the A339.

As previously reported in The Gazette, 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.

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.