Pressing for improvements to the A31 at Ringwood, a delegation from Ringwood Town Council along with local MP Desmond Swayne met with the Minister of Transport, Stephen Hammond MP at the House of Commons on 13 May. The delegation presented a petition signed by over 1,000 people and letters of support from adjoining councils and the newly elected Hampshire and Dorset Police Commissioner. Ringwood Town Council maintains the road is not fit for purpose, with poor signage that provides no assistance to drivers. A reduction of the speed limit has been requested, despite the Highways Agency’s insistence that the road does not satisfy requirements for changes.
One of the delegation, Cllr Rippon-Swaine said, “We had an exceedingly cordial meeting with the Minister. He was very understanding of the problems and following a very open discussion, has instructed the Highways Agency officials to prepare, prior to the rising of parliament on 18 July, reports with proposals for the installation of new directional signing on the bridges over the A31 to get drivers in the right lanes, and also proposals for the introduction of a reduced speed limit on that section of the road from Picket Hill through to the Ashley Heath roundabout. Whilst he emphasised that for each of the proposals the necessary statutory processes need to be followed, he was, subject to that, minded to implement these two proposals as a matter of urgency as it will be some years before any re-engineering of the A31 can be designed and implemented.
“We await those proposals and will do everything to support proposals which will improve the safety of persons using the A31 at Ringwood.”