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Basingstoke: Enterprise M3-approved transport scheme will see more than 5,000 jobs created

By Dan Teuton
12 January 2015

Thousands of jobs will be created, with thousands more retained, across Hampshire and Surrey as a result of investment in three new transport schemes. Enterprise M3, the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for the M3 corridor, today announced that it has approved £13.5 million in funding for major road improvement schemes in order to accelerate economic growth in the region.

The two schemes in Basingstoke and the Runnymede roundabout will progress in 2015 and will over time generate financial benefits in excess of £100m for the Enterprise M3 area.

Basingstoke North-Eastern Corridor

The principal objectives of the scheme are to reduce peak-hour delays along the corridor, thereby helping support job retention and creation in adjacent business parks and improving the reliability and efficiency of transport links.

More than 500 permanent jobs (366 direct jobs and 159 indirect jobs) will be created as work on the scheme progresses. This work will also have a knock-on effect for the wider corridor, as it is anticipated that the transport improvements will contribute to the creation of over 2,000 new jobs within the Chineham and Hampshire International Business Parks.

Basingstoke North Corridor

This transport scheme, which includes two junction improvements on a 400m section of the A340, is aimed at addressing constraints on growth and supporting key business retention. It is estimated that the scheme will contribute to the creation of 100 direct jobs and almost 50 other permanent jobs.

Councillor Seán Woodward, executive member for economy, transport and environment at Hampshire County Council, said: “The A33 and A340 corridors are important roads linking employment and housing areas within Basingstoke but both routes currently experience significant traffic congestion, particularly during peak travel times. With a number of proposed new commercial and residential developments nearby, traffic levels are set to increase so improving existing junctions and roundabouts on these corridors will help keep the traffic moving around the town and support the unlocking of this development, helping to create jobs and boost the local economy.

“One of the key challenges for economic growth is to ensure high-quality transport links for businesses to enable existing firms to expand and to attract new organisations to the area, to locations such as Basing View and Chineham Park. The improvements planned for the A33 and A340 are the result of our successful bid for just under £10m in Local Growth Fund funding to the LEP, towards the £12.2m cost of these schemes. The improvements which will be delivered in phases over the coming years starting this year will help unlock economic growth by supporting the new developments, reducing congestion and improving safety for pedestrians and cyclists.”

Runnymede Roundabout

This transport scheme, at a key strategic location in the Enterprise M3 area with immediate connections to M25 (Junction 13), Heathrow Airport, Staines-upon-Thames, Egham and Windsor, is aimed at enhancing the layout and signalling of the Runnymede Roundabout. These enhancements will tackle congestion, improve traffic management and also crucially improve accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists to neighbouring areas & the River Thames. Over the next few years, it is estimated that up to 3,000 jobs will be created in the area, in part as a result of these improvements.

Surrey County Council’s cabinet member for transport John Furey said: “Improving transport infrastructure is key to boosting economic growth, helping businesses run more efficiently, creating jobs and improving journeys for commuters.

“That is why this scheme at the Runnymede roundabout, which is close to Heathrow, tourist attractions such as Thorpe Park and links to towns including Egham, Staines and Windsor, is essential to improving the flow of traffic."

Part of a bigger picture of road improvements in the Enterprise M3 area

The announcement of these schemes follows the £15 billion programme for strategic road improvements revealed by the Government in December last year. In the Enterprise M3 area, the Government announced new funding for the period 2015/16 to 2020/21 and beyond for the following:
-  M25 Junction 10-16 – upgrading the M25 between junction 10 (A3) and junction 16 (M40)
-  M25 Junction 10/A3 Wisley interchange – improvement of the Wisley interchange to allow free-flowing movement in all directions, together with improvements to the neighbouring Painshill interchange on the A3 to improve safety and congestion across the two sites
-  M3 Junction 9 improvement – upgrade to the junction to allow free movement from the A34 to the M3
-  A31 Ringwood – widening of the A31 at Ringwood to three lanes, providing more capacity for local traffic using the road to cross the Avon, plus adjustments to the nearby local road network to allow for improvements for pedestrians in Ringwood
-  A3 Guildford – improving the A3 in Guildford from the A320 to the Hogs Back junction with the A31, with associated safety improvements.