MISERY for motorists in the new year has worsened with confirmation a main route across the New Forest will be closed for three months.

The A35 will be closed in both directions as Hampshire County Council presses on with work to replace the Holmsley crossing over the C10.

An eight-mile section of the road between Hinton’s St Michael and All Angels Church and the Vinney Ridge Inclosure junction is going to be closed from January 4 until April 8.

At the end of next month, National Highways is launching the main work to widen the A31 at Ringwood, which has already prolonged journeys for thousands of motorists since initial activity started in recent months.

The advertised diversion for HGVs wanting to get between Christchurch and Lyndhurst with the A35 out of action will involve a trip across the edges of the New Forest, via either a 25-mile journey on the A31, A338 Spur Road to Cooper Dean, Castle Lane East and Barrack Road, or a 29-mile route along the A326, B3054 and along the A337 to Christchurch. This compares to the 15 miles normally travelled along the A35.

Bournemouth Echo: The A35 and C10 are set to be shut for three months due to bridge replacement works at Holmsley in the New Forest

The official diversion for non-HGV traffic which would have travelled on the A35 is using roads through Highcliffe, New Milton, Lymington and Brockenhurst.

As part of the bridge replacement work at Holmsley, the C10, which links Brockenhurst and Burley, will be shut for the same period.

Hampshire County Council’s diversion route for this closure goes through Bransgore, Hinton and Sway.

When contacted by the Daily Echo for comment on the closures, a county council spokesperson provided a link to the webpage for the project. The site, which was last updated this month, says: “Between January 4 and April 8, 2022, C10 Station Road and the A35 will be fully closed.

“Both roads will reopen at Easter and afterwards, all remaining work will take place under traffic management arrangements, including potentially night working and single lane closures during the day.

“We will coordinate our new timetable with National Highways and their contractor for the A31 road widening scheme to minimise any potential effects of concurrent closures.”

Work on the multi-million-pound Holmsley bridge replacement started in earnest back in September, with the C10 shut since then.

Bournemouth Echo: The bridge at Holmsley which is being replacedThe bridge at Holmsley which is being replaced

A planned lifting of this closure in October half term was scrapped due to construction work being behind schedule, however, it did in the past few days for the festival period.

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