At his recent decision day, Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader of Hampshire County Council and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment approved the investment of £457,000 from the Casualty Reduction Budget to change the layout to make a staggered junction, by altering the western arm of the crossroads.
Councillor Humby said: “Ipley crossroads has a very sad history of personal injury accidents, mainly due to the open vista and some drivers misjudging the speed and distance of other road users as they approach the crossroads. A number of these collisions have involved cyclists and this project seeks to reduce the number of collisions at this location by staggering the crossroads. Although we have implemented a number of casualty reduction measures over the years such as STOP signs, rumble pads, high friction surfacing and advanced signing, despite some initial success, the numbers of collisions has gradually increased over time. Our teams have worked hard to gain the necessary agreements from the adjacent landowner and regulatory bodies for the land needed to install a staggered junction, and are optimistic about the success of the imminent planning application. Once we have these permissions, work will begin on site as soon as feasibly possible. As with all casualty reduction schemes, this will be monitored for a period of five years from completion of construction to assess its effectiveness.”
The approved scheme will see a new section of carriageway on the approach of the C97 from the West, of 102 metres in length, which would join the Beaulieu Road at an angle of 90 degrees 50 metres south of the current crossroads. The existing carriageway no longer needed would be removed and that land allowed to return to forest.
The proposed new layout, involving a T-junction for traffic travelling East or West on the C97, would mean that instead of traffic being able to drive straight across the junction, vehicles travelling in either direction would be forced to slow down and give way in order to join Beaulieu Road.
The proposed scheme and its construction methods have been carefully designed to minimise the impact on the Forest and would cause least disruption to traffic.
Resurfacing works on Beaulieu Road will be carried out to remove the existing coloured high friction surfacing and out of date lining and road markings to ensure the surface of the carriageway suits the new road layout.
Works will commence on site at the earliest opportunity. As the New Forest is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, there is a need to avoid ground nesting bird seasons between March – August.
Construction is expected to take one week for the mitigation/compensation land and six to eight weeks, depending on the requirements of the Planning Application, for the main Ipley crossroads works.