WORKS on the A31 at Ringwood are due to commence this week. Here is an overview of what we know is in store for the next year.

As reported, National Highways (formerly Highways England) plans to introduce a third lane and widen the A31 in Ringwood. Works will also include replacing the bridges that carry the road over the River Avon and Bickerley Millstream.

The aim of the £25million scheme is to “improve safety, reduce congestion, improve journey time reliability and to improve facilities for walkers, cyclists and horse riders in the local area and link with routes in and around the area”.

  • Preparation work – September to November 2021

On Monday September 20, work will begin to remove the gantry close to the eastbound Ringwood exit slip road. Highways England said: “For everyone’s safety while we are carrying out this work, we will be temporarily closing lanes on both sides of the A31 overnight.”

Running until October 9, two lanes on the eastbound carriageway and one on the westbound carriageway will be closed overnight during this time. The lane closures will be Monday to Friday only and start after 8pm, when traffic flows reduce, with the road reopened by 6am.

National Highways are hopeful that work in Mansfield Road will be complete by November 15, when the A31 westbound on-slip is due to close.

Bournemouth Echo: B3347 Mansfield Road in Ringwood. Picture: GoogleB3347 Mansfield Road in Ringwood. Picture: Google

The westbound on-slip will be closed for duration of works from November 21 to 22. Diversion for westbound traffic will be via eastbound A31 to Poulner, up and over and back on to westbound A31.

  • Contraflow system and other works – January to November 2022

The contraflow will be in operation from January 4 to November 30, 2022. The contraflow will be maintained in both east and westbound directions while a third lane is added to each side.

Some additional work is also required on the eastbound carriageway to resolve drainage issues, removal of a gantry and for road marking corrections.

The A31 between Ferndown and St Leonard’s is currently closed from 9pm and 6am until Friday, December 17.

The closure, which is from Monday to Friday, is to replace the safety barrier and install new street lighting work.

  • Public consultations – September to October 2021

National Highways was to hold five A31 public information events online and in-person. Additional sessions had to be added after most became fully booked. The only sessions left will take place on Microsoft Teams on Wednesday 29, Thursday 30 and Friday October 1.

Assistant project manager for National Highways Raluca Mitu said: “We are delighted that there has been so much interest in attending our events and are keen to share as much information as possible with the local community and road users before we start work.

“I am really pleased to be able to add these new dates to the schedule. We want to be available to speak with as many people as possible and provide an opportunity for them to ask any questions they have.”

National Highways has said that further date specifications would be released this week. More to follow.

To book a place in the consultations, email: