APPROVAL  for the new interchange between the M3 and the A34 at Winnall has finally been given.

National Highways aims to start work on the £100million-plus scheme in 2025 and it is expected to take three years to complete.

This will be the biggest civil engineering project in the Winchester district since the construction of the M3 through Twyford Down in 1992-94.

People who were around then will remember the chronic disruption that it caused for months on end as traffic diverted into the city centre and the city was sometime reduced to gridlock. It is highly likely that similar issues will be caused this time around too. One mitigating factor now is that the city has park and ride car parks which reduces the amount of traffic heading into the city centre.

READ MORE HERE: Final approval for major new interchange at junction of M3 and A34

But as this comment noted in 2021 the new  improved interchange at Winnall will move congestion to other places. A new bottleneck is likely to be created elsewhere as more traffic is attracted onto the M3 and A34. Maybe it will be further south or perhaps north at Newbury or the interchange with the M4. One of the lessons that was learned from the anti-roads movement in the 1990s, sparked by the Twyford Down works, was that spending on roads infrastructure was akin to putting a hamster in a wheel, a never-ending cycle of running faster to stand still.

We really should be spending more time on how to reduce traffic and get out of this expensive and self-harming mindset.