Operation Transmission has been developed to mitigate the potential risk of traffic disruption by creating triage points on the approach to Portsmouth International Port, and on the A31 between Alresford and Winchester, to ensure all EU-bound freight has the correct ‘border-ready’ paperwork in place for channel crossings.
Neil Odin, Chair of the Local Resilience Forum, said: “The projections shared with us clearly show that, if we do nothing, the changes to checks at the border would cause a traffic queue very quickly on the M275 and the surrounding area. This would be bad news for many communities, businesses and road users across Hampshire. Our plans include short stay triage points at carefully chosen locations and early engagement with hauliers to help them be border ready, and have benefitted greatly from the input of our local government experts. There will still be some impact but our plans are necessary and designed to reduce the risk as much as possible.”
Hampshire County Council is part of Hampshire and Isle of Wight LRF which has developed the Operation Transmission plan to mitigate the risk of severe traffic congestion on the M275, M27 and Hampshire roads that could be caused by delays to EU-bound freight at Portsmouth International Port.
Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment at Hampshire County Council, said: “We’ve been working closely with our partners in the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Resilience Forum on a robust plan to keep traffic moving on the road network and therefore reduce the risk of traffic delays and congestion on Hampshire’s roads. The plan has been shared with haulier companies, local businesses and local councillors, and it’s clear that everyone shares the same objective – to keep freight traffic moving and businesses operating as usual so we can all go about our day-to-day journeys as necessary.”
The plan involves the use of 24/7 triage points for EU destined lorries that are located away from the port, and this includes a short stay triage point on the A31 between Winchester and Alresford. The eastbound carriageway of this stretch of the A31 will run as a contraflow to take both east and westbound traffic, while the westbound carriageway will be used to check freight for ‘border readiness.’ The speed limit will be reduced to 30mph for all traffic.
Councillor Humby continued: “I appreciate the lower speed limit, which is needed to keep the A31 running safely as a single lane carriageway, will mean a few added minutes to people’s journeys, so please do bear this in mind before setting out.”
Funding of £2.5million for Operation Transmission has been provided by the Department for Transport.
Further details on the A31 Winchester to Alresford short stay triage point are available here