Easter deadline for 'botched' box junction in Amesbury

Countess Roundabout - after box junctions were added (Cllr Graham Wright) (4)

5:54am 17th February 2017

Will the missing box junction on the A303 Countess Roundabout in Amesbury ever be painted?

Highways England have been facing intense pressure to fix the 'botched' job that was done in September last year.

Now, five months on, Spire FM's asked engineers to confirm they'll be keeping their promise to finish the work BEFORE the Easter holidays.

In an email a spokesman for Highways England told us:

"The scheme to install additional box markings at Countess Roundabout is still on track to be delivered this Spring.

"I have spoken to the project team and we are looking at late March/early April, dependent on weather."

TIME TO FIX 'BLUNDER'

Countess Disappointment - Councillor Graham Wright - A303 Countess Roundabout Amesbury (Graham Wright)

Local councillor, Graham Wright, was the first to spot Highways England's 'blunder' last year (pictured above).

Workmen had left the busiest and most congested segment of the Countess Roundabout, approaching it as traffic heads west from London, without any form of box junction at all.

Commuters and local had waited years for Highways England to carry out the so called 'improvement' works. But after two nights of road closures, several gangs of white and yellow lining crews and thousands of pounds spent on delivering the long awaited yellow hatchings, the job end result was clearly 'incomplete' and attracted immediate and intense criticism.

Back in September last year Cllr Graham Wright vented his disappointment:

"After years of Town Councils, residents and Wiltshire Councillors banging on about the problems that the queues to the West Country cause to residents crossing, at long last, an agreement was negotiated with Highways England that yellow hatching boxes would be installed on the roundabout. At last, we all thought, a solution that would go some way towards relieving the frustration of crossing the A303 from north to south. This error is just another financial waste."

But Cllr Wright vowed to see the job finished, and says he's also just heard some positive news from Highways England:

"Today they said April. I reminded them it must be before Easter, so I am hoping for 2nd week of April at the latest."

Countess Roundabout - after box junctions were added (Cllr Graham Wright) (3)

The work's expected to cost around £5,500 to fix and is being paid for through grants from Amesbury and Durrington Town Councils, as well as Wiltshire Council's Amesbury Area Board.

The Easter bank holiday weekend is one of the busiest periods for traffic on the A303 with huge volumes of traffic funneling through the bottleneck at Amesbury, and across the usually clogged Countess Roundabout.

A Spire FM poll in September last year revealed that a huge majority or local people (82%) were unhappy with the new box junctions that Highways England had added to the A303 Countess Roundabout at Amesbury.

It will be interesting to repeat the same survey when the work is eventually finished. Watch this space!

MISSED IT? FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED HERE: www.spirefm.co.uk/news

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