There is likely to be severe traffic disruption this weekend when the M27 is closed between Junction 3 (M271) and Junction 4 (M3). The closure is in both directions and will be in place from 10:00 pm on Friday 28th September to 5:00 am on Monday 1st October. It is the first of three weekend closures over the next twelve months to allow the Romsey Road bridge to be replaced.
Westbound traffic will be taken on a scenic (and possibly mystery) tour of Hampshire and Wiltshire:
- Traffic coming down the M3 will be diverted onto the A303 at Basingstoke, then via Amesbury and Salisbury to re-join the M27 at Ower.
- Traffic from Portsmouth will be diverted via the M3 and A34 to join the A303 Bullington Cross, and then as above to Amesbury and Salisbury.
This 60-mile diversion route is a long way to avoid a few miles but should keep the traffic well away from Chandler’s Ford and Eastleigh. However, I suspect many drivers, on seeing the 60-mile length of the detour, will consult their maps and look for a shorter route through our local roads. Which will already be full with diverted eastbound traffic:
- Traffic from Ringwood heading for the M3 will be taken off the M27 at Junction 2 (Ower), then through Romsey and Ampfield to join the M3 at Winchester (presumably – the Highways Agency map doesn’t go that far).
- Vehicles that are too high for the low bridges in Romsey will instead be diverted along the A27 to join the M3 at Chilworth. That should be interesting – have you ever tried to join the M3 from the A27 at Chilworth?
- Portsmouth-bound traffic will leave the M27 at junction 3, and head towards Romsey to join the A27 at North Baddesley (yes, this is the same bit of road that will already be choc-a-bloc with high-siders heading to London). From Chilworth, the traffic will continue down Basset Green Road to re-join the M27 at Junction 5 (Southampton Airport).
In addition, there will be diversions for local traffic that can no longer use the Romsey Road bridge. Some of these routes seem to be the same as the diversion routes for motorway traffic. Good luck!
I think that the weekend could be a good one to leave the car at home. Or head to the Midlands for the weekend – that should be far enough away from the traffic chaos and is what I will be doing.
More details can be found on the Highways England website.
Finally, advance warning – the same will happen on the weekends 26th to 29th April and 18th to 21st October next year.