WINCHESTER Green campaigners are pressing the Government to abandon its plans for a £100 million scheme at junction 9 of the M3.

Extinction Rebellion, Friends of the Earth and Winchester Action on Climate Change call on Highways England to think again and abandon the scheme.

In a statement they say “it is perverse to spend £100m or more on making our lives worse”, arguing the work to alter the interchange will do little to improve congestion or pollution.

The proposal is to rebuild the junction to remove the congestion point of the traffic lights on the roundabout where the M3, A34 and A272 meet.

Highways England is currently holding a public consultation with four more public information events to be held:

Friday July 12, 2-8pm, Community Centre, Fraser Road, Kings Worthy;

Saturday July 13, 10.30am-4.30pm, Community Centre, Fraser Road, Kings Worthy;

Saturday July 20, 10.30am-4.30pm, Tesco Extra, Winnall;

Saturday August 3, 10.30am-4.30pm, Tesco Extra, Winnall.

The campaigners say the scheme will do nothing to tackle the climate emergency with 60 per cent of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions coming from traffic.

They point out that even if road transport goes electric, the scheme will still be detrimental. Enabling growth in private car use and road freight will encourage extravagant use of clean energy that will be in short supply. Worse, if the demand is higher than the clean energy supply available, transport will use dirty energy.

Instead they call for:

• a network of fast Winchester district bus routes to encourage people to leave cars at home;

• a network of bus feeder services at Southampton Airport Station to connect to Winchester and Basingstoke;

• a railway station at North Whiteley;

• a district-wide safe cycle network;

• Increasing the capacity of the railway line through Winchester.