Highways England has unveiled a major road upgrade that will improve journeys on the M3 and the A34 in Hampshire.
Under the plans, Junction 9 of the M3, where it meets the A34 near Winchester, will be redesigned to create dedicated free flow lanes that will allow drivers travelling between the M3 and the A34 to avoid using the junction roundabout.
The roundabout will be redesigned into a ‘dumbbell’ layout, which will increase capacity, improve safety and make journey times more reliable.
The plans will go on show in a public consultation that will last until 19 February 2018.
The M3 is the main road connecting London and the Solent Ports, while the A34 is the main corridor between the south coast and the Midlands.
Some 110,000 vehicles use the junction every day.
The proposed free-flow interchange is expected to reduce congestion and improve safety by removing the need for through traffic to use the roundabout.
Under the proposals, the cycle routes will also be upgraded to complete the gap in route 23 of the National Cycle Network. The plans include upgrades to footpaths and improved bridleway access for horse riders.
The improvements will result in additional capacity for the junction to improve journeys and support development in the Winchester area.
The proposals will also help to support developments at Southampton container port as they are expected to increase freight traffic on the M3 and A34.
Funding for the scheme will be made from the Department for Transport’s £15bn Roads Investment Strategy, announced in 2014.
Highways England will hold five information exhibitions at venues in Winchester and Kings Worthy for people to examine the proposals.
All responses will be taken into account before making an announcement on a preferred route later this spring, Highways England stated in a notice.
Subject to a successful outcome, construction could begin in 2021 and take two years to complete, it said.