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House of Lords Hansard
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A33: Hockley Crossroads Improvement
07 August 1980
Volume 412

3.11 p.m.

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My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will give top priority consideration to the construction of a flyover at the traffic light controlled crossroads on the A.33 Winchester by-pass to avoid even greater and continuing congestion following the completion of the M.3 extension, the much welcomed benefits of which will be nullified unless this bottleneck is eliminated en route to the major port of Southampton.

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My Lords, my right honourable friend the Minister of Transport recognises the urgent need for relief at the signal- controlled crossroads on the Winchester by-pass at Hockley. He will shortly be promoting an improvement scheme within the existing highway boundaries. This will provide extra capacity to alleviate the present problem and the traffic conditions that will arise when the planned M.3 motorway extension from Popham southwards to Bar End is in use. This interim improvement will not take the form of a flyover. The possibility of providing a flyover in a new permanent junction will be very carefully considered in the fresh study that is to be made of possible schemes for further improving the trunk route south of Bar End.

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My Lords, I thank my noble friend for that reply. Is he aware that this bottleneck has been a problem for many years, and is quite separate from the extension of the motorway? In the meantime, could my noble friend also look into the possibility of a better phasing of the lights while this work is being done?

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My Lords, better phasing of the lights is, of course, a matter for the appropriate authorities, in this case the Department of Transport and the police, and it will certainly be considered as and when appropriate. At the moment, there are two "Ahead" and one "Right turn" lanes in each direction. In the next two years there may be four "Ahead" lanes in each direction and one "Right turn". When that happens, the phasing of the lights will become much more appropriate, and will be done.

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My Lords, when the noble. Lord is considering this matter, will he remember that open, free-and-easy access to the important port of Southampton from all over England, leading to Europe, is a vital matter, both for England and for Southampton?

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My Lords, I can assure the noble Lord, Lord Maybray-King, that not only the M.25 but the London-Southampton Road is of the utmost importance to this country, and that they both have the highest priority that this Government give to road building.