Residents living north of the station will have noticed the road works at ‘the back of the station’, the staggered junction between Elmleigh, Eastern and Leigh Roads. Work began last week on a 13 week construction project which will redesign the junction giving safer access to pedestrians and cyclists while bringing a long overdue element of traffic calming to the residential streets north of the station.
The £679,000 funding for the scheme was won by Hampshire County Council from the government’s ‘Transforming Cities’ fund and the project seeks to ‘improve accessibility to the existing walking and cycling infrastructure along sections of the National Cycle Network Route 22, NCNR22, in Leigh Road, Eastern Road and Elmleigh Road’.
This junction has long been a source of accidents and near misses, the main offenders being misrouted HGVs, rat-running cars and vans using New Lane to avoid the Petersfield Road traffic lights and vehicles waiting illegally for station drop-offs and pick-ups.
Local residential users of the route should note that disruption won’t stop after the initial 13 weeks of this development. Later this year, a further six month piece of work should begin which will introduce a new ‘bi-directional segregated cycle track adjacent to a realigned improved footway’, running from a new combined pedestrian / cycle crossing on the Petersfield Road to the rail station footbridge. Take this link to see an overview of this next project. (Note, further minor changes are planned for Centenary Gardens and the south-side station carpark, see here.)
In other words, we should expect temporary traffic lights on the Elmleigh Road / Eastern Road / Leigh Road route to extend well into next year.
The following graphic attempts to set the context for the current roadworks by overlaying the main junction changes with the current aerial view. Detailed drawings can be found further down this post.
The Elmleigh Road / Leigh Road / Eastern Road junction
The junction is being ‘tightened’, with Elmleigh Road narrowing where it enters Leigh Road from the west, and Eastern Road narrowing where it joins Leigh Road from the east. Between the two junctions, a new pedestrian crossing will be formed.
The key to the details in these drawings is shown below:
Eastern Road detail
The drawing below shows the position of the two new ‘Cycle build outs’ being added between Leigh Road and the three Eastern Road bungalows.
Note the ‘Cycle build outs’ which appear on these drawings, three of which are on Leigh Road and two on Eastern Road, provide protection for cyclists while also acting as an effective ‘chicane’ for drivers.
Leigh Road improvements
The image below shows Leigh Road in three sections. The left hand section shows Leigh Road to the north of the Eastern Road junction, the central section shows the next stage up to Lavant Drive and the right hand section shows the top, cul-de-sac end of Leigh Road. Click on the image to zoom into the detail. Note the three new ‘Cycle build outs’ position along the road, two visible on this chart, the third shown on the main junction image above..
What difference this will make in the long term remains to be seen. As the Cabinet Lead for Levelling Up noted at the recent Full Council meeting, it’s rather bizarre that HCC are carrying out this work right now, to improve access to the very footbridge which they’ve just had to close ‘for safety reasons’.
The long running saga of the bridge is just that – a whole other saga. HCC have apparently put in a bid for Levelling Up funding to cover its replacement, while HBC have put in a Levelling Up bid to try and obtain funding for their vision for the other end of it. (Yes, that was an HBC link!)
Meanwhile, if we’re not mistaken, the Levelling Up Secretary was sacked last week…