FURTHER dates have been announced for the A31 works at Ringwood, as a four-night closure looms ahead of a contraflow installation.

Motorists are set to contend with diversions and slip road closures until November as the road widening and bridge replacement scheme continues.

The westbound entry slip road has been closed and will remain so until the works conclude later this year. The key slip road has been shut “as there is not enough space for traffic to move into the contraflow safely with the slip road open”, according to National Highways.

The contraflow layout will be in place by 6am on Wednesday, January 26. However, this will be preceded by a four-night closure starting on January 20, and then from January 23 to 25 to “prepare and install” the contraflow.

This nightly closure will be in place between the M27 junction near Cadnam and the Ashley Heath roundabout from 8pm to 6am.

During these closures, a signed diversion will avoid the Holmsley Rail Bridge replacement which closes the A35 until April 2022 – however this is a longer route.

In preparation for the contraflow, road resurfacing works will be carried out in the central reservation on Saturday, January 15 and Sunday 16 between 7.30am and 5pm. This, however, will not affect road users.

Overnight single lane closures on the A31 eastbound and westbound will also be implemented on Monday 17 and Wednesday 19 for the installation of safety cameras.

South West Water and Bournemouth Water will continue their water main diversion work in the Furlong car park, Bickerley Common and Avon Valley with an aim to complete in March. One lane of Mansfield Road will be closed to provide a safe working environment for both the water and main A31 works.

The aim of the £25-30 million 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”.

A National Highways spokesperson said: “We are in regular contact with Ringwood Town Council to discuss concerns raised by local retailers and residents. We also meet with the Hampshire and Dorset County Council Highways Teams to minimise the impact of roadworks on journeys.”