The long awaited consultation on the Junction 9 M3 project commenced on May 27.

The first “SoCC” document now available mentions just “three major comments” arising from the previous consultation.

The first of these, in the way it is expressed, is extremely concerning: “the length available for vehicles to change lanes when joining the A34 from junction 9 and then heading on to the A33/Kings Worthy”.

This entirely misses the point which so many of us were making: that weaving across a fast-moving major highway is plain dangerous.

The importance of this whole scheme is that heavy traffic on the A34, one of the country’s most important arteries, should flow freely through this junction in both directions without the delay of becoming mixed up with local traffic.

For the A34 to pass through weaving local traffic would be contrary to this principle. Accidents, delays and speed restrictions would be inevitable.

Local traffic on the A33 link is not unimportant. It serves the communities of the ‘Worthies’, the Itchen Valley served by the B3047, the villages along the A33 up to the A303 junction, new developments such as Kings Barton, plus the whole of north Winchester.

The last of these is essential to reduce traffic on the city centre’s one-way system.

For such a local stream to weave across both lanes of a fast-moving, heavily-trafficked national highway is not merely senseless, it is highly dangerous, no matter how long the weaving distance.

Contributors to the previous consultation suggested a feasible revision to the layout to correct this, a separate, clear link to the A33.

There would be costs involved, but small in comparison with the total.

This need cause no detriment to the environment, no encroachment on the SSSI of the Itchen Valley.

To persist with the previous plan, despite minor adjustments, would be on a par with ‘smart motorways’.

Human life cannot just be the subject of empirical ‘risk analysis’. We have just six weeks to ensure that this is sorted out.

Protest everyone. Write to Highways England, your Councillors, your MP, be heard!

Sir Peter Innes,

Headbourne Worthy