National Highways is undertaking works to widen the westbound carriageway of the A31 to three lanes between Ringwood town centre and the B3081 Verwood Underpass, and to replace the road bridges over the River Avon and Bickerley Millstream.
In order to carry out the works, a full westbound closure is needed and a contraflow will be put in place retaining two lanes of westbound and eastbound traffic.
The slip road where traffic joins the westbound carriageway from Ringwood is now closed until completion of the project in November 2022. A diversion route is in place via the Poulner junction – traffic wanting to join the A31 westbound at Ringwood will need to join the eastbound carriageway, exit at Poulner and join the A31 westbound. In order to protect the workforce, one lane of northbound Mansfield Road (between the Furlong and A31 roundabouts) will be closed until the end of March 2022.
The contraflow is expected to be in place from 26 January 2022. In the lead up to this, there will be overnight closures of the A31, as follows:
Sunday 23 January 8pm to 6am - Full closure of the A31 eastbound between the A338 Ashley Heath and M27 J1 Cadnam junctions
Monday 24 January 8pm to 6am - Full closure of the A31 eastbound between the A338 Ashley Heath and M27 J1 Cadnam junctions
Tuesday 25 January 8pm to 6am - Full closure of the A31 westbound between the M27 J1 Cadnam and A338 Ashley Heath junctions
From 26 January the westbound carriageway between Ringwood and Verwood will be closed until completion of the scheme. The contraflow will allow for two lanes westbound and two lanes eastbound.
Once the contraflow is in place, both the Verwood eastbound on-slip (which has already been closed) and westbound off-slip will be closed, with traffic being diverted via the Ashley Heath roundabout.
Full details of the scheme are available on the National Highways website where you can also provide feedback to the project team and register for updates.
The New Forest National Park Authority and New Forest Animal Accident Reduction Group have put out a plea to drivers to follow official diversions (rather than travelling on unfenced roads) during upcoming A31 and A35 road closures at a time of year when New Forest livestock are most at risk - read the full press release for further detail.