HIGHWAY chiefs are planning to improve a Hampshire junction dubbed one of the most dangerous in the UK for rural cyclists.

Ipley Crossroads on the Lyndhurst-to-Dibden road has seen a spate of serious accidents in the past few years, two of which resulted in the deaths of cycling enthusiasts.

Now Hampshire County Council is investigating turning the junction into a staggered crossroads to cut the accident toll.

Last year highway engineers resurfaced the road and installed new signs in a bid to make the site safer, but the measures have proved largely ineffective.

The scheme’s lack of success has been revealed in a letter from a county council officer to a local resident.

Writing about the new signage the officer said: “This is currently being monitored and doesn’t appear to have been very effective, with both police and local anecdotal evidence suggesting the overshoot/failure-to-stop issue still occurs on a regular basis.”

Now the county council could decide to implement a more radical solution.

Cllr Rob Humby, cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “We are looking at longer-term proposals to stagger the junction which we hope to finalise later this year.”

Last year the junction was named one of the most dangerous in the UK for rural cyclists with seven accidents involving bicycles occurring at the crossroads between 2009 and 2015, according to the Department for Transportdata compiled by digital mapping firm Mapmechanics.

The most recent death at the accident blackspot occurred in December 2016 when cycling enthusiast Keiran Dix, 36 (pictured) of Eastleigh, suffered a traumatic head injury in a collision with a car and died in hospital 68 days later.

In December last year Viral Parekh, 23, of Deacon Road, Southampton, appeared at Southampton Crown Court and admitted causing death by careless driving. He was handed an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and banned from driving for three years.

Judge Peter Henry highlighted the junction’s poor safety record, saying it had been the scene of 22 incidents.

In May 2012 another cyclist, former University of Southampton lecturer Mark Brummell, 53, was seriously injured at the same spot and died later at Southampton General Hospital.

The driver of the car involved, Stephen Chard, 59, of Lymington Road, Highcliffe, also admitted causing death by careless driving. He was handed a 12-month driving ban and told to complete 100 hours of community service.