IN DECEMBER, motorists rejoiced after it was thought roadworks at Thornycroft roundabout ended, with the temporary speed restrictions lifted and cones removed.

Works had been ongoing at the major intersection of the ring road since May 2019, causing severe delays in all directions.

Hampshire County Council issued a celebratory message to say the roundabout, due to be finished by December 2020, was 'fully operational in time for Christmas'.

The accompanying press release included a quote from Cllr Rob Humby, deputy leader, who said he was "delighted" that the scheme will finish "on time and on budget".

But it appears there was more to this than meets the eye. 

Basingstoke Gazette: Works have been ongoing since 2019 Works have been ongoing since 2019

Weeks later, Basingstoke residents will know that the cones and lane closures remain very much a part of the busy town roundabout.

The Gazette has contacted Hampshire County Council to find out what is going on.

The authority has said it never said the works were finished yet and that work is ongoing.

However, the council quoted the leader as saying he was delighted the project would end 'on time' - despite the fact the project still hasn't been complete. 

So what on earth is going on at Thornycroft?

In a press statement released on December 18, 2020, Cllr Rob Humby, HCC's deputy leader, hailed the project's success, saying: “I am delighted that this scheme will be finished on time and on budget."

The £9.4 million scheme got underway in May 2019, and was due to be "fully completed" in January 2021

The authority added that "works to install the final road signs, traffic barriers, street lighting and landscaping will continue, and the scheme remains on course to be fully completed in January 2021 as planned".

According to its website, the council planned for the roundabout "to be fully operational before Christmas [2020]".

But it appears that the situation has changed, as road works have continued at the roundabout well into February.

According to, a website that tracks all road works in Hampshire, the lane closures on the roundabout are due to finish tomorrow, on February 26.

The Thornycroft project page on the HCC website also states that the scheme will be completed in early March 2021.

It adds: "Works to finalise road markings are planned along with final landscaping, tree planting and fencing. These works are planned to take place with minimal traffic management on the highway."

Louise Payne, a spokesperson for Hampshire County Council, said: "In December, the road works on the roundabout were temporarily suspended for the Christmas holidays, as all Hampshire County Council roadworks are.

"We never said the roadworks had ended on Thornycroft roundabout in December. The roundabout was fully operational from December 16 to January 6, as stated in the press release issued on 18 December 2020.

"The press release also pointed out that: Works to install the final road signs, traffic barriers, street lighting and landscaping will continue.

"There have been two lanes running in all directions since January 25 and there have been no major delays or congestion that the County Council has been made aware of.

"There are no longer any lane closures on the roundabout, but some traffic management may be in place to protect the work force as trees will be planted from the week commencing March 8.

"The advertised completion for the Thornycroft roundabout has always been Winter 2020/21 and the roundabout is fully functional.

"Works to install the final road signs, traffic barriers, street lighting and barriers were delayed due to restrictions put in place on all roadworks on Hampshire’s road network near COVID vaccination centres, one of which opened very close to the roundabout.

"The roundabout will be closely monitored, and timing of the traffic signals adjusted as necessary during this initial period of operation. Motorists are advised to exercise increased caution whilst adjusting to the new junction layout." 

So when will the Thornycroft chaos end?

Despite Hampshire County Council advertising a completion for the project by winter 2020/21, the authority now say the works will be complete by Spring.