Operation Transmission is the Hampshire-wide contingency plan to ensure traffic does not build up at the Port of Portsmouth leading to severe traffic congestion on the road network in South Hampshire in the event of a no deal EU exit by 29 March.
Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council, said: “We want to give people as much notice as we can that further works on the A31 may start next week, However, due to reasons beyond our control, we will not be able to confirm whether these works will go ahead until just a few days before.
“Like the rest of the country, we are watching national developments closely. While of course, we hope that there won’t be any traffic disruption in Hampshire, with less than two weeks to go, we need to be ready to act if we need to. These works will provide the necessary capacity so that South Hampshire doesn’t grind to a halt if there are any hold ups at the Port of Portsmouth or extra freight traffic diverting to Portsmouth.”
Based on national developments, should the LRF indicate that contingency plans are needed on the A31, work will begin the week commencing 24 March to prepare the road for contraflow. The plan involves keeping the A31 open in both directions with traffic using one carriageway, thereby releasing the other as a holding area.
The traffic management arrangements needed to install the contraflow will be carried out at night, over no more than three nights, using a full road closure between the two roundabouts.
There will be signs on site indicating that this closure would be carried out between 8pm and 6am each night. In addition to the contraflow, the existing crossovers used to access drives and Rodfield Lane will be closed for safety, except for the crossover at Orr’s Meadow for emergency access.
Councillor Humby continued: “We obviously regret any disruption and indeed hope these plans will not be required. But all of our technical advice is that we need to plan accordingly and this is assessed as the least disruptive but effective option.”
The LRF is developing a traffic management plan to manage this situation should there be a need to introduce it. While it is anticipated that lorries will only remain at the A31 facility for short periods there will nevertheless be a continuous police presence on site to support traffic marshalling staff and managed welfare facilities.