HAMPSHIRE County Council has said it won't be widening 'dangerous' bends on a major route as part of upcoming resurfacing works, despite calls from worried residents.

Civic chiefs have cited budget restrictions as the reasoning behind their decision, although campaigners have responded by insisting 'you can't put a price on safety'.

The authority has recently announced the whole section of the pothole-stricken A3057 from Kings Somborne to Romsey is to be given a revamp in line with its Operation Resilience planned maintenance programme.

This followed a continued campaign by councillors and residents who had long been lobbying highways chiefs to action repair works following a host of complaints from motorists.

In February, Kings Somborne resident John Green, 78, told the Chronicle he feared someone could be 'wiped out' due to the numerous cracks and dents in the road’s surface.

Mr Green has since spoken of his relief after civic chiefs confirmed the road would match the standard of that from Stockbridge to Kings Somborne upon completion - which he admitted is "excellent".

However, he has said the authorities' current plans fail to address the danger presented to drivers by sharp bends in the carriageway.

He said: "While the good level of resilient road maintenance proposed is essential for safety, road width is also extremely important, particularly on sharp bends. As result of the increasing use of the A3057 by very large vehicles travelling to and from Southampton and its continued attraction to ageing rocker motor cyclists, a number of whom have been killed on this road over the years, HCC has already deemed this narrow winding road to be dangerous due to its blind bends and narrow sections.

"Speed limits on some sections have been rightly reduced in recent years and signs warning motorists are prominently displayed both at the Stockbridge and Romsey ends of the road spelling out its danger to motorists and cyclists. So, I and many other road users consider that, in addition to resurfacing, structural improvements and road widening in certain places also needs to be carried out."

Mr Green said the road width varies from eight metres on some of the safer straight sections near Timsbury to as little as 6.5 metres on the winding segments in Lower Brook and the 'S' bend leaving and entering King's Somborne to the south.

"That bend is particularly dangerous with massive vehicles now regularly using this road," he said.

"There are signposts stating, ‘oncoming vehicles in the middle of road’, which is frankly a joke if it was not so serious. I just can't understand how the council can acknowledge this is a dangerous road through signage but not address the problem - it is beyond belief."

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Mr Green is further pushing for highways bosses to reconsider repairing two lay-bys on the top of the hill to the south of Kings Somborne, which he says have been left in a continually worsening state by drivers leaving and entering the carriageway.

He added: "The two lay-bys are important to road safety, particularly on windy narrow sections of roads with sharp bends where it would be totally inappropriate and very dangerous to stop. This is reflected by the high demand in particular for the daily use of the lay-by just south of King’s Somborne by large vehicles travelling south on the section of the A3057 between Stockbridge and the wider section of the road south of Lower Brook. This lay-by provides the only credible point of respite on this section of road for larger vehicles."

Hampshire Chronicle: The lay-by (left) and the tight 'S' bend on the A3057. Pictures: John Green

Councillor Nick Adams-King, Hampshire County Council's executive member for highways operations, has admitted while certain improvements would be 'nice to have', they fall behind more substantive repairs, particularly at a time when inflation for road materials is running in excess of 20 per cent.

He said: “Over the next two years the County Council will be investing around £2 million to improve the A3057 between Greatbridge and Fullerton. We are currently undertaking preparatory works between Greatbridge and Kings Somborne, cleansing the existing surface water drainage systems, clearing road edges and replacing damaged kerbs, signs, bollards and manhole covers.

“In July we will commence carriageway resurfacing on three sections of the A3057 near Timsbury, Kings Somborne and the chalk quarry, whilst also carrying out structural carriageway repairs on other sections of the road, as required. These works will involve the removal of the existing road surface and replacing it with new surfacing.

SEE ALSO: Motorist hits out at council over concerns someone could be wiped out on "dangerous" potholed road

“From April 2023, we have scheduled seasonal surface dressing treatments on the remaining sections of the A3057. Surface dressing is a preventative measure where the existing road surface is given a new thin covering of bitumen and chippings to seal to the road surface, protects it from water penetration, providing much better resistance to the formation of defects and potholes and improve the skid resistance. The formal layby south of Kings Somborne will be resurfaced as part of this programme of works. There are no plans to widen the road at the current time.”

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