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How will the Smart M27 cope with this?


Sorry about the date stamp on the video but I got caught up in the queue on the M27 this morning, there was an accident on the westbound carriageway just after the Junction 11 entry slip. This video was taken on the entry to junction 12. Just before the camera kicked in a Highways accident Range Rover went steaming up on the hard shoulder to a broken down car on the hard shoulder, possibly over-heated because of the queue. The video didn't kick in because it has a motion sensor and cuts out after a few minutes when nothing is happening.

Then this ambulance joined the fray. It's a bit of luck that we all managed to shuffle onto the hard shoulder. Of course when the hard shoulder disappears in about 2021 how will these two emergency vehicles get to their destination? It's all well and good to say that there will be plenty of warning lights but the accident hadn't happened too many minutes before. OK the overhead signs may say Lane 1 closed, but still, where do the vehicles go to open up the carriageway.

I can't help thinking that we are going to regret this cost-cutting measure. So far in the three months of 2018 there have been 41 major incidents on the M27 - that's not just normal traffic congestion but events that have caused lane closures.


How far will £9.9M go?


I wonder how far £9.9M will go in a £60M plus project. I have been looking for Cllr. Woodward's quotes that not a brick would be laid until ALL of the funding has been organised and that the M27 Junction must be in place as the first step in Welborne. I am certain that he said it but am still trolling through the videos to find them. If anybody spots them before me let me know.

 Link to The News article


Will Hampshire be brought to a traffic standstill?


The contract for the M27 'smartening' has been awarded to a Morgan Sindall / BAM Nuttall joint venture. The £218M contract will see the design phase start this month.
Link to an article in The News
Link to BAM nuttall website
Link to Highways England website

I must admit that I hadn't heard about this one but it looks as if the M3 between Winchester and Southampton (junctions 9 to 14) is due to be 'smartened' between March 2020 and March 2022 so presumably this will be occurring at the same time as the M27 is 'smartened', i.e. after the investigative works. What wonderful planning - South Hampshire will be at a total standstill soon.
Link to Highways England website

These two schemes are approximately the same length as the M3 'smartening' between junctions 2 and 4a and look how much aggravation that caused. So may your Lord have mercy upon you while this takes place. I just think that it is going to become even more necessary that the Air Ambulance service should be funded by Central Government and that they should not be relying on a charitable institution to supply a service that is bound to be needed more and more especially in light of the current accident on the M3 and M27 in this area.


M27 Smartening to be delayed


 Link to The News article
Leader of Fareham Borough Council, Councillor Sean Woodward, welcomed the news. He said the delay was necessary to ensure the works synced up with the planned £60m upgrade to junction 10 to accommodate the planned town of Welborne.

Has the £60M investment source been found yet? Considering that the cost doubled only last month and I am not totally certain that it was fully-funded at £30M.

Is this still the correct approach to the problem? Maybe it is the ONLY approach because of lack of space for additional infrastructure, but that stretch of the M27 is so prone to accidents and major incidents that will the loss of the hard shoulder increase traffic speeds whilst the road is fully open but bring it to a standstill when there is a major incident and the emergency vehicles cannot reach the incident through lack of a free route for emergency vehicles.

Don't forget the comments that were been made by the chair of the Commons Transport Committee, Bridget Fox and many other people about the safety and viability of the Smart Motorways.


J10 doubles in cost


By the time Cllr. Woodward's quote of "We will not lay down a brick in Welborne until all of the required infrastructure is identified, where it’s going to go and how it’s going to be funded." is fulfilled will Fareham be covered in bricks and mortar and Welborne will just be the final green fields to be taken by developers?

Due to the poor preparation and inadequate planning that has gone on so far, developers are piling in with applications and appeals that can't be fought because Welborne is so far behind, and with the announcement that according to FBC this junction is almost the lynchpin of the whole plan, to see it double in cost, especially when base rate and inflation has been ridiculously low since 2008, really needs some sort of explanation. Will the increased cost here affect the number of 'affordable' dwellings to be built on the grounds of non-viablility?

 Link to The Daily Echo article


£130M to save 12 minutes at J8


Slightly outside of our area but everything that is done to the M27 is going to affect us all in one way or another. £10M+ per minute saved does seem an awful lot. Surely it's time that the people responsible for these decisions wised up to the fact that all they are doing is moving problems further down the road and that as the current torrent of new houses gets under way we will just be back to a point worse than when they started. It really is time to say that South Hampshire is full.

 Link to The Daily Echo article
 Link to The DHighways Agency progress report.


J9 and Parkway South roundabout improvements


The £20m improvement scheme to improve junction 9 and the Rookery Avenue/Whiteley Way/Parkway roundabout is set to proceed in Summer 2019 following possible compulsory purchase of some of the land required. The  improvement plan is here and is being funded by Highways England and Hampshire County Council.

Councillor Seán Woodward said "I am delighted that at long last progress is being made on this much-needed improvement which is hindering both housing and commercial development in Whiteley. The delays have also put as risk the grant funding to complete the dualling of Whiteley Way and open up additional road accesses from Whiteley to Curbridge.

As a Director of Solent LEP I supported the £15m grant as well as visiting the minister for Highways England to ask him to provide the funding for junction 9. At last the lobbying has borne fruit."

M27 J9 and Parkway South roundabout improvements


J9 - Now fully funded


Sean Woodward said: 'I'm delighted that the work will now be able to go ahead. We have been waiting for this announcement for week after week, so I am very happy the decision has finally been made.

'These works are critically important for the area as it will mean the £14m investment for Whiteley Way can now move forward and we can get those homes built in North Whiteley.

'This is really great news for the area as it will mean better roads for people and more homes.'

 Link to The News article

I was of the understanding that the North Whiteley development area was supposed to primarily exit onto that single carriageway A3051 road AKA the Botley Road, I guess in much the same way the Welborne traffic won't really be going north or entering Fareham to any great extent, maybe I misunderstood. As for 'better roads for people', maybe so until the 'more homes' is factored into the equation.


J10 - A done deal?


According to the Daily Echo Junction 10 is a done deal.

Quote from the Daily Echo: "Highways England have revealed plans to transform Junction 10 of the M27 into a full junction as part of plans to ease congestion in the Fareham area."

"Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, said: “The Junction 10 redevelopment is vital to cut road congestion around Fareham.
Congestion on the M27 and Junction 10, in particular, has been a concern for local people for a long time now, so plans to make it accessible both ways would be hugely welcome.
The junction will be redeveloped to provide the essential infrastructure necessary to support the Fareham and the new garden village Welborne.”"

It might help Welborne, although even that is debatable, but it certainly won't help Fareham, all it is going to do is clog up the roads between the M27 and the A27 which are already at a standstill twice a day.

Daily Echo icon Link to The Daily Echo article


Multi-million pound M27 revamp 'could cause chaos'


"A MAJOR scheme to help improve congestion on the M27 could 'cause chaos' if is not implemented properly, a civic leader says.

Cllr Simon Letts, the leader of Southampton City Council, said: “The scheme should be delivered in stages instead of in one big heap, which could potentially cause chaos, especially at rush hour.”"

Daily Echo icon Link to The Daily Echo article


M27 brings Fareham to a halt - again


This may be the ONLY way to reach such incidents in the future.Air Ambulance

"The road was closed yesterday after a crash just before 7.45am, between junctions 9 and 10 on the westbound carriageway. Investigations meant the carriageway was shut until 1.30pm, but has now re-opened.

‘We sent a rapid response vehicle, an officer, an ambulance and the air ambulance to the scene."

I wonder whether the emergency services would have taken longer to arrive at the scene when the hard shoulder is full of stationary traffic after the road turns 'smart'. This one can not be laid at the door of poor driving, unfortunately the lorry driver died soon after the incident.

The News icon Link to The News artice
Daily Echo icon Link to Daily Echo artice


Councils will work together to reduce impact of M27 smart motorway scheme


Well I guess that there is a first time for everything. Of course, this is assuming that HMG won't suddenly withdraw funding. After the report that all of the plans that our previous PM laid out just before the last election are being looked at again by the National Audit Office

The News icon Link the The News article

"However, Highways England and the Department for Transport are now exploring whether to cancel, delay or redesign some of the 112 schemes unveiled in the strategy.

The National Audit Office said 19 projects – nearly one in five – could be delayed to after 2020. The scheme is already £841 million over budget"

Daily Mail icon Link to the Daily Mail article


Get ready for the 'smart' motorways


I am not sure if this means that the contract has now been awarded or whether it is just the Echo catching up on the article below.

I wonder if any part of this work will include improvements to the exit and entry ramps, or will this just be one of those short term, let's all shout how good it will be, sound bites that will allow drivers to get to the real queue point faster. If it doesn't include junction 10, for example, they will have to redesign the undesigned modifications to make it all moves? How will they cope with crash central between junctions 11 and 12, will it become 5 lane or will they leave a short stretch of hard shoulder just to cause even more confusion?

Daily Echo icon Link to the Daily Echo article.


Get ready for the 'smart' motorways


Highways England awarded the contract to design the 'upgrade' of the M27 and M3 to 'smart' motorways to Mott MacDonald and Sweco JV. The design phase is worth £3.9M and will look at the M27 between junctions 4 and 11 and the M3 between junctions 9 and 14.

A big part of the problem lies not on the motorways but on the exits and entrances like the A27 at junctions 9 and 11 and the accident black spots between 11 and 12. By increasing the traffic flow on the M27 these areas will just get worse. When will our politicians learn that you can't resolve problems piecemeal like this? The whole infrastructure needs improving dramatically if we are ever going to be able to cope with the additional 120,000 houses in this area.

Will it be safe? Will it be cost-effective? Will it bring Welborne any closer? Will it make any difference? Only time will tell.

New Civil Engineer icon Link to the article in the New Civil Engineer


Government funding for M27


It looks as if Government funding for the M27 may have come to a grinding halt. Our Executive Leader is obviously now hoping that the Solent City will come into being so that the Solent Combined Authority will be able to "take devolved powers to bring proposals forward."

From comments made in today's The News Cllr. Woodward and Ms Fernandes seem to think that it is "urgent and essential to help the hundreds of thousands of commuters who suffer delays and congestion on a daily basis." They don't seem to have equated over-development as the possible cause. If the road is converted to a 'smart' motorway how long will it be before another new solution will need to be found to cope with the additional 250,000 cars that their development plans will put on the South Hampshire road system?

The News icon Link to the The News article


Are they still proposing the M27 to become 'smart'?


I wonder if they are still intending to turn the M27 into a 'smart' motorway, there seems to be an awful ot of opinion piling up on the unsafe side. The problem is if they don't do it how will they manage to fit the extra 1/4 million new cars due to the developments that are planned for our area?

"Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has approved the plan, which will see a 32-mile stretch of the motorway widened between Hayes in west London and Theale in Berkshire.

But the chair of the Commons Transport Committee says safety concerns have been ignored."

Louise Ellman warned: 'I think lives could be put at risk. This is a hasty decision led by cost-cutting without proper consideration for safety.'

Bridget Fox, a sustainable transport campaigner said 'This is just expanding motorways on the cheap.'

Sounds very much like the rest of the infrastructure in this country at the moment to me.

Daily Mail icon Link to the The Daily Mail article


SCA to fund Junction 10?


So could we now be starting to see why our Council Executive Leader is so keen to join the Portwighthampton crew? From this article it would seem that he has virtually given up on the idea that the developers would fund the junction 10 improvements so we now need the South Hampshire devolution to go ahead so that the taxpayer can fund his dream.

"Now, Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council says that the £25m of funding needed to start the project could be brought in as part of a devolution package from central government.

Cllr Woodward said: ‘We have already secured £15m for the works from Highways England and now we are looking in to bring the extra funding needed for this project.’"

The News icon Link to the The News article


Our MP calls for improvements to M27 Junctions


Suella says:

IMPROVEMENTS to junctions on the M27, near Fareham, should be made a priority.

M27 Queue

The News icon Link to The News article

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said "The department is working together with Highways England and the county council on a way forward for improvements to junction nine. A separate scheme to improve junction 10 is being funded by a private developer and the local enterprise partnership."

Highways England is currently listing the project as ‘on hold’, with a provisional start date of April 2017.


High level talks on improving the M27


3 men about the M27

Apparently our Executive Leader and the MP for The Meon Valley met with Andrew Jones, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State from the Ministry of Transport for high level talks on improving congestion on the M27. Not sure if that means reducing it or increasing it - depends which way round your mind works.
The News icon Congestion on the M27 talked about at the top




Highways (England) have now confirmed that the M27 (J4 - J11) will be upgraded to a "Smart Motorway" (use of the hard shoulder under the control of electronic signs on overhead gantries) during the period 2017 - 2019. It is also understood, that the above section of the M27 will be re-surfaced with "Quiet Tarmac" in is upgrade was assured, it has now become apparent that in reality, there is a funding shortfall of some £20M. This shortfall will need to be resolved if Welborne is to proceed. Both of the above updates are good news for Wallington.




The News icon Government assures residents that M27 junction upgrade is in pipeline

The work planned for junction 9 of the M27, near Whiteley, was due to go ahead this year but was put on hold by Highways England over funding problems.

"Highways England said it would look to include the work in the 2016/17 Key word here is "LOOK"


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