TRANSPORT bosses have rubber stamped a £1m project to tackle congestion and pedestrians in a Hampshire bottleneck.

The improvements are due to be made at the Leigh Road, Woodside Avenue and Passfield Avenue crossroads in Eastleigh in May.

This will consist of an upgrade to the traffic signals including two extra left turn lanes to improve capacity.

Also, two new toucan crossings will provide better links to existing cycle ways, one on Woodside Avenue and one on Leigh Road.

Councillor Seán Woodward, Hampshire County Council’s executive member for economy, transport and environment, agreed to release the funding.

He said: “This junction is notoriously busy during peak times and pedestrians and cyclists are left to negotiate traffic between signal changes.

“The junction improvements are predicted to ease congestion by 60 per cent on average.

”Reducing congestion will not only ease people’s journeys during peak times but will also improve air quality in the area.

“The installation of two new toucan crossings will provide a much safer way of crossing this busy junction for pedestrians and cyclists who live and work in the local area.”

The funding comes from a pot of money that developers contribute to under section 106 of the planning laws as well as from the county council’s transport plan funding.

The crossroads is Eastleigh’s primary road network, serving both east-west and north-south movements within the town and connecting its centre to M3 junction 13.

In the past five years, nine pedestrian accidents have happened at the junction.

Two, classed as slight, involved cyclists of 12 and 13 years of age who left the footway to cross an arm of the junction and collided with a vehicle.

Another serious accident happened after an invalid carriage left the footway while crossing.