Hampshire County Council has given an update on the Botley Bypass after council’s cabinet agreed to increase the scheme's budget by more than £16 million.

The authority has said the additional £16 million is needed to meet the significant rise in construction and materials costs due to inflation as well as to allow for further adjustments to be made to the final scheme design.

These adjustments address the challenging ground conditions that were discovered during the preparation stage of the bypass scheme. 

Councillor Nick Adams-King, HCC leader, said: "It’s important to provide transport infrastructure that creates the capacity to cope with additional traffic on the road network and minimise impacts on local communities.

"Completing this scheme will benefit residents and businesses in and around Botley village enormously, by reducing congestion, improving traffic capacity and, in turn, reducing noise and pollution in the village.

"To be able to agree the extra financial support required to fulfil our longstanding commitment to build the bypass is very positive."

The final phase which links with, and is complementary to, earlier phases, creates a new road from Winchester Street, crossing the River Hamble to a new roundabout at the A334 junction.

New and improved footways and cycleways will be provided as part of the project which will improve active travel in the area, alongside complementary measures in Botley village centre.

The Botley bypass was originally set to be opened in 2025, but with clearance work for the third phase of the project yet to start.

Working with Milestone Infrastructure, construction is expected to begin in spring 2025 and be completed in 2027.

A spokesperson for Hampshire Country Council added: "Every effort will be made to minimise disruption and inconvenience for those travelling in the area during that time."