What is happening?
Southampton City Council has received £360,000 of funding from Highways England to upgrade the traffic signals at the junction of Thornhill Park Road and Hinkler Road. The project aims to do the following:
- Reduce congestion on A334 and the interaction with the M27 Junction 7.
- Better journey time reliability at peak times from Junction 7 into Southampton.
- Provide renewed traffic signals at the junction and new crossing facilities for people walking and cycling across the junction.
The works are part of a wider project by Highways England that has upgraded the traffic signals at Junction 7. This will complement the Highways England M27 Smart Motorway project.
During the work, the traffic signals will be turned off and the access to Hinkler Road will be closed. Browning Avenue will also be closed at the junction of Hinkler Road, to enable the works to be carried out efficiently.
The diversion route for traffic will be via Thornhill Park Road and Bursledon Road. Temporary 2-way signals will be in place on Thornhill Park Road and will be monitored to assess congestion. A temporary pedestrian crossing will be provided across Thornhill Park Road.
At the end of the works, the whole junction will be closed for approximately 1 week overnight to enable the junction to be resurfaced. Access to residential properties and the businesses on Thornhill Park Road will be maintained.
In addition, a new Enhanced Variable Message Sign (EVMS) is being installed on Maybray King Way replacing the existing one.
Why is it happening?
The junction of Thornhill Park Road and Hinkler Road is toward the eastern border of Southampton and a key route from the M27 and Hedge End into Southampton. It is a signalised junction that operates on older Vehicle Actuated (VA) technology. This causes congestion on the A334 stretching back to Junction 7 and on the A27 around the Kane’s Hill roundabout. This congestion primarily occurs at peak times, but queues also occur on Saturdays.
The scheme will see the current traffic signal technology upgraded to a more dynamic, reactive system called MOVA. The aim is to reduce congestion between the A334 and Junction 7, as well as on the A27 around Kane’s Hill Roundabout, and improve journey times. Crucially, this will benefit bus services operating on the key route between Hedge End and Bitterne.
The new pedestrian crossings will better connect Kootenay Avenue with Hinkler Road, improving access to nearby Kane’s Hill Primary School and Woodlands College. Some minor works will also be carried out here to discourage anti-social behaviour on the path to Kootenay Avenue.
What is the smarter signal technology being installed?
The traffic signals will be upgraded to a smarter system called MOVA. MOVA continually adjusts by assessing the number of vehicles approaching the signals and determining the impact that queuing vehicles would have on the overall operation of the junction.
This will enable the junction to respond much quicker to traffic demand changes and will synchronise with other junctions to improve flow at busy times. The new signals will provide remote control access to allow us to override the settings for events and other incidents and support giving buses extra priority (more green time) to aid bus journey time reliability.
When is it happening?
The works are due to start on site on Monday 19 October and will last for approximately 8 weeks. We will need to return in early 2021 to apply an anti-skid surface on the approaches to the junction.
How can I find out more?
If you have any questions or comments, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
For up-to-the-minute travel information, follow our Twitter @scchighways