The Isle of Wight Council is close to finalising a major scheme to reduce traffic congestion and improve access for pedestrians and cyclists at one of the Island’s busiest junctions.
Construction of the scheme will transform the approaches to — and access across — St Mary’s roundabout in Newport.
The scheme is designed to reduce congestion now as well as ‘future-proofing’ the junction given expected growth in traffic movement and the possibility of developing land nearby for new homes and economic regeneration projects.
The project is the largest of a package of schemes to improve traffic flows through Newport which have been financed largely by a government grant of over £9 million, supplemented with developer contributions.
The works will involve replacing the roundabout with two linked traffic light-controlled junctions.
There will also be enhanced features to improve bus journey reliability and accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists.
While the design has been independently assessed by Hampshire County Council as the best possible approach to the improvement of the junction, the programming of the works has yet to be finalised.
The council is working to integrate the scheme with planned statutory utility works in the area to minimise disruption which could mean a start date at the end of September.
Once the scheme has been formally commissioned with Island Roads, full details including the start date will be confirmed by the council.
Such is the scale of the project, the council is advising motorists to expect delays during construction which is likely to take 15 months.
Work will take place during the day and — at times — at night when it is sensible to do so.
Councillor Ian Ward, the council’s Cabinet member for infrastructure and transport, said: “It is important to be clear from the outset that a scheme of this nature, although bringing long-term benefits, is of such a scope and scale that some disruption to travel is inevitable.
“I think this project demonstrates the ability of the council to attract new government money to support schemes that will benefit the whole Island. I am particularly pleased the work will also bring about enhanced features not just for cars but for pedestrians and cyclists also.”
During the work there will be various temporary traffic arrangements in place which will enable it to be undertaken as quickly and safely as possible. Traffic lanes will be reduced temporarily, and contraflows introduced as well as short-term speed reductions.
To assist access to the Riverway and Dodnor trading estates, parking will be suspended in both Manners View and Riverway.
A comprehensive communication strategy has been prepared giving further details of the scheme and the likely impact of the works; it will be launched as soon as the works programme is finalised and covers each stage of the construction process.
Separate discussions have already been held with St Mary’s Hospital and the emergency services to ensure all blue light responders are not unduly compromised by the works, as well as the Isle of Wight College and B&Q.