A MAJOR £40m project to improve a notorious Hampshire motorway bottleneck has been revealed by highway bosses.

Highways England have revealed plans to transform Junction 10 of the M27 into a full junction as part of plans to ease congestion in the Fareham area.

The scheme is thought to be one of the most expensive road improvement schemes in Hampshire.

It will be delivered by Highways England in partnership with Buckland Development, the developers for Welborne (the new 6,000-home garden village).

Currently, traffic can only leave the motorway on the westbound carriageway and join it on the eastbound carriageway.

But under the new plans, there would be a new eastbound off and westbound on slip road creating a full cloverleaf which would divert exiting motorway east towards Funtley on the A32.

The new junction will be situated on existing highway land which will allow direct access to the M27 from west Fareham and Welborne without having to travel onto the wider highway network.

The scheme will be funded by £14.7m from the Solent LEP and Department for Transport. Buckland Development will be expected to contribute the remainder.

Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, said: “The Junction 10 redevelopment is vital to cut road congestion around Fareham.

“Congestion on the M27 and Junction 10, in particular, has been a concern for local people for a long time now, so plans to make it accessible both ways would be hugely welcome.

“The junction will be redeveloped to provide the essential infrastructure necessary to support the Fareham and the new garden village Welborne.”

A Highways England spokesperson said: “We are beginning discussions with local authorities and technical stakeholders so we can take into account their views.

“Once we’ve worked up viable options, we’ll tell people about them and ask for their opinion.”

The improvements at Junction 10 are part of plans to turn the M27 into a ‘smart motorway’ between Junctions 4 and 11 and follow after almost a week after the Department for Transport pledged more than £2.5 million to redevelop Junction 7 of the M27 near Hedge End.