Why are you doing the work?
This is essential maintenance work which will ensure this key route in and out of the city is fit for the future. The work will include resurfacing, kerbing (changes to the kerbs) and updates to the roundabout’s drainage system. The drainage improvements include changing the gradient of the roundabout so that water flows away more effectively to the drains. As part of the work, we are also making some changes to benefit bus travel. This includes a new bus shelter and improved kerb alignment to allow buses to pull in closer to the bus stop. We will also be extending the raised kerb line to accommodate double door buses.
In addition, we will also be making improvements to the shared use footway/cycleway between the northern end of Bassett Avenue and Chilworth Road. This will connect to the SCN5 Northern Cycle Corridor and the new cycleway being developed by HCC on Hut Hill. The scheme is therefore an important part of our ongoing plans to deliver a safe, coherent route for cyclists travelling between Southampton City Centre and Chandler’s Ford.
Is this work connected to the recent flooding events?
Flooding events in the latter part of last year are not related to the work we will be doing. The work was already planned to be done as part of the maintenance schedule for the city. Our investigations into those events have shown that there appears to be a blockage in the drainage infrastructure under the M3 (which our drainage outfalls in to) and Highways England have now taken this issue on to resolve.
How long will the work take?
We are currently saying March 2020. At this stage it is difficult to be more specific than this.
What traffic management will be in place?
The work will be carried out over four phases, with different lane closures in place on the roundabout throughout each period. There may be temporary traffic signals in use on the roundabout to manage congestion if necessary. Details of each phase are available on the scheme web page.
How are you minimising disruption?
During the first three phases of work, two lanes in and out of the city will be maintained at all times to minimise disruption. We will use temporary traffic signals to manage congestion if needed. Signed diversion routes will be in place throughout the works. For the resurfacing of the roundabout in phase 4, we will be working overnight to minimise disruption and reduce the risk of congestion as much as possible.
Will the works be noisy?
There may be some noise while we carry out works during the day. For the overnight work during Phase 4, the noisiest parts of the work will be carried out as early in the night as possible. One thing we are not able to curb is the reversing noises of machinery being used as this is a required health and safety feature.
Why are the works happening at the same time as The Avenue?
Like many of our current major transport schemes, the works on The Avenue have been funded by Government. Due to the nature of this funding, these schemes need to be delivered within a set timeframe. The works on Chilworth Roundabout are part of our planned maintenance programme. After closing Bassett Green Road in the first week, we are keeping two lanes open in and out of the city at all times during the first three phases of this work. Compared with the impact of a full road closure, this will enable us to minimise disruption to the wider network.
Furthermore the final phase of works at Chilworth will be carried out overnight and the diversion route during this time will not overlap with the diversion route in place for the works at Lodge Road/Banister Road. We are therefore not anticipating conflict between the works at Chilworth Roundabout and those on The Avenue. Due to the wider demands on the network, it is not always possible to avoid such a crossover in major projects.
We work closely with our Highways Partners to carefully plan and coordinate all works and, where schemes do coincide, ensure this is where the impact can be managed most effectively and with minimal disruption.
Why isn't work carried out 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to speed up the work?
There will be crews working from 7am to 11pm on weekdays. Although the resurfacing will be carried out overnight, working overnight for long periods is not efficient or effective. Low light, low temperatures, limited access to resources and suppliers (who operate during the day) and the logistics of moving material at night would be slower and more costly. It is also unacceptable to subject local residents to prolonged noisy overnight work.
How will this affect bus travel?
Bus operators will continue to provide normal services. However they will be using diversion routes where necessary so may not be able to serve some stops.
The bus stop on Chilworth Roundabout will be closed during Phase 3.
Please speak to your bus provider for advice on alternative stops.
How will this affect pedestrian and cycle access?
Pedestrian and cycle access will be maintained throughout the works, either on existing or temporary footways. Cyclists will have to dismount.
How is this work funded?
This £800,000 scheme is jointly funded by the local highways maintenance incentive fund and tranche 1 of the government’s Transforming Cities Fund.