PLANS to widen and improve a busy route through the New Forest have moved another step forward. 

Highways England’s plans to widen the A31 at Ringwood are going on show in a series of ‘meet the team’ events where people will be able to hear more about the improvements. 

The A31 is one of the main routes between Bournemouth and the South Coast. 

Westbound drivers currently experience delays at Ringwood during peak times due to high volumes of traffic and several junctions being located close together. 

The route also has heavy seasonal traffic during the summer months, particularly over the August Bank Holiday weekend. 

The westbound carriageway will be widened from two lanes to three between the Ringwood and Verwood junctions, providing much needed road capacity and considerably reducing congestion on this stretch of road.   

The work will also include the replacement of the two bridges on the westbound carriageway which cross the River Avon and the Bickerley Millstream, which will also be widened to three lanes.

Changes to the local road network will also be made to improve safety and access for cyclists and walkers. 

Highways England project manager Daniel Kittredge said:  “Our plans to widen the westbound carriageway of the A31 at Ringwood will increase capacity, help reduce journey times and improve safety. 

"We’re looking forward to showing the designs to people and talking through the improvements and I urge anyone interested in the scheme to book a place at one of our virtual events to find out more.”  

 “I urge anyone interested in the scheme to come along to one of our public information events to find out more about the improvements to the A31 at Ringwood and see what we will be doing as we begin to prepare for construction.”  

The sessions will be held on Microsoft Teams and numbers will be limited to ensure everyone attending can ask any questions they may have. 

Places will be issued on a first come, first served basis. 

The A31 ‘meet the team’ sessions will take place on March 29 from 10am– 11.30am or 2.30pm–4pm and March 30 at 10am–11.30am or 4pm–5.30pm. 

Anyone interested in attending can book a place by emailing stating which session they would like to attend.