Hopes rise over A31 road safety bid

Daily Echo: JAMS: The A31 at Ringwood. JAMS: The A31 at Ringwood.

IT is a notorious stretch of Hampshire road known among commuters for its accidents and traffic snarlups.

But urgent calls to improve the A31 at Ringwood have moved up a gear after highways chiefs pledged to examine a raft of new safety proposals.

A crisis meeting has taken place in a bid to reduce the number of crashes and put the brakes on speeding motorists along the heavily-used route.

The Highways Agency has agreed to assess some of the suggestions campaigners have come up with, which include reducing the speed limit from 70mph to 50mph, creating a crawler lane for eastbound lorries and installing signs telling motorists to drive in the correct lane.

The results of their safety probe could be revealed as early as next week.

The action comes just months after Ringwood Town Council launched its campaign for improvements on the dual carriageway between Picket Post and the Ashley Heath interchange.

More than 1,000 people have signed a petition calling for a raft of new measures.

Town councillors and representatives from New Forest District Council have now met Highways Agency staff to come up with safety solutions.

Michael Thierry, a member of both councils, warned that any major improvements could take “many years” to roll out.

But he added: “There are one or two improvements which they could implement slightly earlier.

“The major one they could do almost instantly is the bringing in of a speed reduction to 50mph from Picket Post. There was a meeting before Christmas with the district and town councils and officers.

“We have been campaigning for the A31 for many years and nothing has changed as yet.

“My view is that I would like to see the 50mph brought in immediately.

“The people of Ringwood are making demands for it.

“I would like to see the speed reduction implemented and then a consultation taking place on what people have thought about it.”

Comments (7)

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12:23pm Mon 28 Jan 13

good-gosh says...

Go for 40 mph and be done with hazard for ever.
Go for 40 mph and be done with hazard for ever. good-gosh
  • Score: 0

12:54pm Mon 28 Jan 13

ohec says...

Its a total rat run and any sort of behaviour goes, so if people are unable to control themselves then restrictions have to be put in place and probably the most effective and cheapest is average speed cameras. The road should never have been a 70mph road in the first place but many people will have seen cars pass them at speeds well in excess of 70mph, it has become generally excepted in this country that where there is a 70mph limit 80 mph is acceptable and since any kind of road policing went out the window who is to stop them.
Its a total rat run and any sort of behaviour goes, so if people are unable to control themselves then restrictions have to be put in place and probably the most effective and cheapest is average speed cameras. The road should never have been a 70mph road in the first place but many people will have seen cars pass them at speeds well in excess of 70mph, it has become generally excepted in this country that where there is a 70mph limit 80 mph is acceptable and since any kind of road policing went out the window who is to stop them. ohec
  • Score: 0

1:40pm Mon 28 Jan 13

G0Rf says...

Traffic joining the A31 is the main problem here, its a massive bottleneck.
They need to make an extra lane at A31 next to the pub / texaco petrol station which will allow traffic to join the A31 easier and wont make such long tailbacks.

That roads a nighmare in the summer.
Puts me going to the beach in the summer!
Traffic joining the A31 is the main problem here, its a massive bottleneck. They need to make an extra lane at A31 next to the pub / texaco petrol station which will allow traffic to join the A31 easier and wont make such long tailbacks. That roads a nighmare in the summer. Puts me going to the beach in the summer! G0Rf
  • Score: 0

9:19pm Mon 28 Jan 13

dolomiteman says...

An extra longer feeder lane from the ringwood roundabout and entry/ exit to the Texaco station from the side road along with an ENFORCED lower speed limit (average speed cameras?) could ease the problems. it is shear madness to have several slip roads and petrol station entrance together on a duel carriageway.
Ohec.. it is not a rat run it is the main road to the west from Southampton so road users have little other choice if they need to go westbound.
An extra longer feeder lane from the ringwood roundabout and entry/ exit to the Texaco station from the side road along with an ENFORCED lower speed limit (average speed cameras?) could ease the problems. it is shear madness to have several slip roads and petrol station entrance together on a duel carriageway. Ohec.. it is not a rat run it is the main road to the west from Southampton so road users have little other choice if they need to go westbound. dolomiteman
  • Score: 0

6:59am Tue 29 Jan 13

SotonNorth says...

The speed limit is not the problem, it is the fact that the road is overloaded for the type of road it is. Congested roads are dangerous roads.
The speed limit is not the problem, it is the fact that the road is overloaded for the type of road it is. Congested roads are dangerous roads. SotonNorth
  • Score: 0

12:39pm Tue 29 Jan 13

ohec says...

dolomiteman wrote:
An extra longer feeder lane from the ringwood roundabout and entry/ exit to the Texaco station from the side road along with an ENFORCED lower speed limit (average speed cameras?) could ease the problems. it is shear madness to have several slip roads and petrol station entrance together on a duel carriageway.
Ohec.. it is not a rat run it is the main road to the west from Southampton so road users have little other choice if they need to go westbound.
When i refer to it as a rat run i am referring to the way drivers drive on the road and having lived in Dorset for over 25 years i am more than aware of the roads significants, i personally believe that the answer to a lot of problems would be to extend the M27 to link up with the M5.
[quote][p][bold]dolomiteman[/bold] wrote: An extra longer feeder lane from the ringwood roundabout and entry/ exit to the Texaco station from the side road along with an ENFORCED lower speed limit (average speed cameras?) could ease the problems. it is shear madness to have several slip roads and petrol station entrance together on a duel carriageway. Ohec.. it is not a rat run it is the main road to the west from Southampton so road users have little other choice if they need to go westbound.[/p][/quote]When i refer to it as a rat run i am referring to the way drivers drive on the road and having lived in Dorset for over 25 years i am more than aware of the roads significants, i personally believe that the answer to a lot of problems would be to extend the M27 to link up with the M5. ohec
  • Score: 0

7:23pm Mon 25 Feb 13

dorsetspeed says...

As much as we would all prefer otherwise, wherever there are roads, there will be casualties. Just look at this interactive online casualty map: http://map.itoworld.
com/
Any road safety policy that thinks that “something has to be done” as a result of any accident is acting on emotion after the event, and if we allow emotion to determine policies, we will end up with more road deaths than if we use science, data, evidence, balance and consistency. Before we kneejerk with “there’s been a death so the limit has to go down” we should at the very least be asking for an understanding of the circumstances. Was speed a significant factor? What are the typical speeds there so would a reduction make much difference? Would it result in further erosion of speed limit respect and therefore increase speeds and danger? Could such a limit on such a length of dual carriageway be sensibly enforced? Would normal safe drivers be brought into conflict with the law? Would a driver bored to tears sitting on a deserted dual carriageway for miles in the middle of the night put his foot down to try to make up for lost time and annoyance when he gets into the country and cause more danger elsewhere?
These (and many others) are very good reasons why speed limits should be right, not simply reduced until we have no deaths – we’ve already gone too far with that and it hasn’t worked and it won’t work.
We must start doing more to target appalling driving standards, that will certainly have an effect on accident reduction. Simple driver error is by far the biggest factor in all serious accidents – 65%.
Councillor Michael Thierry may be acting in good faith, but what are his qualifications? Road safety is a complex issue, and we can only do a small amount of what we would like to do. So, again, we should not call for one solution unless we are sure that we would not achieve better safety efficiency with another. Where is the evidence from Mr Thierry, that he has carefully considered all potential solutions, and has determined that the most cost effective of all is a speed limit reduction?
Perhaps Mr Thierry should leave road safety planning to the experts.
As much as we would all prefer otherwise, wherever there are roads, there will be casualties. Just look at this interactive online casualty map: http://map.itoworld. com/ Any road safety policy that thinks that “something has to be done” as a result of any accident is acting on emotion after the event, and if we allow emotion to determine policies, we will end up with more road deaths than if we use science, data, evidence, balance and consistency. Before we kneejerk with “there’s been a death so the limit has to go down” we should at the very least be asking for an understanding of the circumstances. Was speed a significant factor? What are the typical speeds there so would a reduction make much difference? Would it result in further erosion of speed limit respect and therefore increase speeds and danger? Could such a limit on such a length of dual carriageway be sensibly enforced? Would normal safe drivers be brought into conflict with the law? Would a driver bored to tears sitting on a deserted dual carriageway for miles in the middle of the night put his foot down to try to make up for lost time and annoyance when he gets into the country and cause more danger elsewhere? These (and many others) are very good reasons why speed limits should be right, not simply reduced until we have no deaths – we’ve already gone too far with that and it hasn’t worked and it won’t work. We must start doing more to target appalling driving standards, that will certainly have an effect on accident reduction. Simple driver error is by far the biggest factor in all serious accidents – 65%. Councillor Michael Thierry may be acting in good faith, but what are his qualifications? Road safety is a complex issue, and we can only do a small amount of what we would like to do. So, again, we should not call for one solution unless we are sure that we would not achieve better safety efficiency with another. Where is the evidence from Mr Thierry, that he has carefully considered all potential solutions, and has determined that the most cost effective of all is a speed limit reduction? Perhaps Mr Thierry should leave road safety planning to the experts. dorsetspeed
  • Score: 0

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