The safety of this junction, the long waits often experienced in exiting from Oliver’s Battery Road South and speed of traffic on Badger Farm Road has long been a concern of residents of Oliver’s Battery. In the spring of 2015, the Parish Council (PC) put forward a range of options designed to reduce the issues associated with this junction and a list of priorities (based on achievability) was provided to Hampshire County Council (HCC) who would undertake the necessary minor road works.
A meeting was arranged for the PC to meet with Andy Smith, an engineer from HCC Traffic management on 26 February 2015. Topics discussed included traffic lights at the junction, a box junction, the “keep clear” signs, widening the public footway on the east side of Oliver’s Battery Road South near the junction, changes to the southern entrance to the underpass and reducing the speed limits on Badger Farm Road and Oliver’s Battery Road South.
On 10 March 2015, Parish Councillors visited the residents of 80 Oliver’s Battery Road South to discuss the problems of the narrow public footway outside their property at the junction of Oliver’s Battery Road South and Badger Farm Road. The residents indicated that they would be prepared for the public footway to be widened if the PC agreed to pay all the costs associated with repositioning the boundary to their property.
Later in March 2015, the PC issued a list of priorities to County Councillor Phil Bailey with copies to MP Steve Brine and the City Councillors. The proposals, bearing in mind the financial constraints, identified several low-cost proposals, including the widening of the public footway.
County Councillor, Phil Bailey, applied to have the work done under the Highways Minor Works Scheme but funding was not available for these works in 2015/2016 and this scheme was discontinued.
Following another accident at the junction in July 2016, a meeting was arranged for the PC to meet with Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Highways and the Environment for HCC, together with the Winchester City Council councillors. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss options, costs, accident data and constraints for the junction.
The meeting took place on 19 October. The PC had, prior to the meeting, sent to Councillor Humby data regarding the considerable number of concerns about the junction that residents highlighted in their responses to the Oliver’s Battery Plan questionnaire.
Councillor Humby explained that funds for highways improvements were finite and had to be prioritised. The accident history for the junction did not make it a high enough priority for major expenditure. However, the PC pointed out that in 2015 it had suggested some changes to the junction that would not involve significant funds and that the PC had indicated its willingness to contribute to some of the cost. There had been no response from HCC to those suggested changes. At Councillor Humby’s request, those suggested changes have been resubmitted to him for consideration by HCC.
Councillor Humby has confirmed that there is no justification for any proposed works within the safety programme and a feasibility study would be required in connection with any improvements to the junction layout, including widening the public footway on the east side of Oliver’s Battery Road South near the junction.
There appeared to be no further progress until in March 2017, when the PC were informed that HCC were proposing to undertake a feasibility study of the proposals contained in our March 2015 submission.
A feasibility proposal was issued at the end of March 2017 for comments. The proposal included a new box junction, removal of traffic island and new road markings, widening of public footway outside 80 Oliver’s Battery Road South.
The PC sent comments back in April 2017 following a meeting on site.
The updated feasibility report for this junction was issued to the PC on 8 August 2017 and meetings were arranged in early September 2017 to review the latest feasibility.
The site observation report was issued on 18 October following the meeting on 19 September 2017 with a tree officer regarding the feasibility of widening the public footway outside 80 Oliver’s Battery Road South. This allowed several options to be developed for approval.
One option for widening the public footway was selected by the residents of 80 Oliver’s Battery Road South towards the end of October 2017, subject to seeing the detailed specification for the work.
On 1 November 2017, HCC confirmed that funding was available to support the proposed works if the PC fund the accommodation works to the boundary of 80 Oliver’s Battery Road South (i.e. the removal of the brick wall and the erection of the fence). The PC agreed to provide the proposed funding contribution.
In January 2018, HCC confirmed that an engineering team had been instructed to progress the detailed design but did not anticipate any construction starting until late Spring 2018.
On 1 February 2018, Havant Borough Council confirmed they had the official instruction from HCC to arrange the proposed works
On 27 March 2018, the residents of 80 Oliver’s Battery Road South confirmed that they had signed the draft heads of terms agreement for the land donation to enable the widening of the public footway at the front of their property so that the project can move on to the next stage
The PC also asked HCC for the speed limit for the section of road from Stanmore Lane to the Sainsburys roundabout to be reduced from 40 mph to 30 mph. HCC informed the PC that the Police would not support proposed lower speed limits that they think will not be complied with by drivers. The main criteria the Police use is that the existing mean speeds must be close to the proposed lower limit (the mean speeds between the Sainsbury’s and Pitt roundabouts were recorded as between 34 and 36 mph, which was not considered to be close enough to 30 mph).
The PC requested a second speed check and the results were similar and consequently the request for a reduction to 30 mph was refused.
The PC also arranged for the overgrown foliage on the bend in Badger Farm Road between the Oliver’s Battery Road South and Ridgeway junctions be cut back to improve the sightline east from Oliver’s Battery Road South. This will be an ongoing maintenance issue.
In January 2022, Andy Smith, a HCC Highways Engineer, advised the PC as follows:
“The types of low-cost measures that the Parish Council may be able to fund through the Community Funding Initiative (CFI) are unlikely to address the perceived safety concerns at the junction and wouldn’t be the types of measures that the local community has been asking for in recent years – i.e. reduced speed limits, traffic calming, re-design of the junction etc. I’m happy to speak to the Parish Council if they would like to consider the CFI further, but I would be cautious about raising expectations as realistically at this location we would only be able to consider measures such as gateway features and a signing review.
Our Transport Planning team have recently responded to a petition about the junction and there was mention of further studies through the LCWIP [Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan] and Winchester Movement Strategy. Given that the measures being requested have generally been high cost and outside the scope of our casualty reduction scheme programmes, I’d suggest some further discussion with Transport Planning is the best way forward at this stage.”
The HCC Transport Planning team, in responding to a junction petitioner and Oliver’s Battery resident, have made the following statement:
“The Winchester City Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) that was developed by Hampshire County Council and Winchester City Council, is proposing to develop a radial cycle route (C2) connecting the city centre to Oliver’s Battery via Romsey Road and Oliver’s Battery Road North as part of the Primary Cycle Network for the city. Site visits and route audit work undertaken as part of the LCWIP work noted that on this route, pedestrians and cycles looking to travel between Oliver’s Battery Road North and Oliver’s Battery Road South currently need to use the subway underpass to cross Badger Farm Road. The study suggested that future feasibility work on this route should explore options to reconfigure the junction layout, removing the subway and providing an at-grade crossing for cyclists and pedestrians, such as a Toucan crossing. It was considered that this would improve the attractiveness and directness of the route and access for all users. Due to funding constraints, we have had to prioritise the future development of pedestrian and cycle improvements proposed within the LCWIP. Improved at-grade crossing facilities at this location have unfortunately not been prioritised amongst the short term LCWIP priorities due to the funding constraints but would be considered and may be progressed as part of the medium term LCWIP priorities.”
The approach noted in the Transport Planning team response looks like the only realistic option for improved at-grade crossing facilities at the junction, albeit a possible medium term LCWIP priority.