National Highways puts brakes on A31 westbound entry slip road closure as major project gets under way
CONCERNS raised by Ringwood residents have prompted National Highways to delay a planned closure of an A31 slip road.
The westbound on-slip route, which allows vehicles to join the A31 from the Ringwood roundabout, had been due to shut next Monday.
But that will now happen on 4th January next year, said National Highways, formerly Highways England.
The contraflow system will be installed on the eastbound carriageway for 24th January.
The work is part of the start of the major £25m plan to revamp the A31 dual carriageway by making it three lanes between the Ringwood and Verwood junctions.
The bridges on the westbound carriageway over the River Avon and Bickerley Millstream will also be replaced.
A National Highways spokesperson said the changes were made "after listening to concerns raised by Ringwood Town Council, local retailers and residents about the potential impact the westbound entry slip road closure may have on the town during construction work".
Some preliminary works have already been completed, such as closing the slip road used by traffic joining the A31 eastbound at Verwood.
National Highways confirmed that will now remain in place until the project is complete in November 2022 due to safety reasons.
A signed diversion will be in place during the closure and traffic wishing to join the eastbound A31 should use the westbound A31 and the Ashley Heath roundabout.
Drivers are also advised the A31 will also be closed in both directions between the Verwood to Ringwood junctions from 8pm-6am between Sunday 21st November and Tuesday 23rd November so the eastbound gantry can be removed safely.
A signed diversion will be in place via the A337, A35, A3060 and A338. Congestion is expected, so drivers are advised to leave extra time for their journeys.