DRIVERS have been warned to expect 15 months of disruption as a major project to remodel St Mary's roundabout and the surrounding roads gets underway.

The works will involve replacing the roundabout with two traffic-light controlled junctions.

The Isle of Wight Council said today (Friday) it was close to finalising the scheme, aimed at reducing traffic congestion in Newport and improving access for pedestrians and cyclists at one of the Island’s busiest junctions.

The project is the largest in a package of schemes to improve traffic flows through Newport which have been financed largely by a government grant of over £9 million, supplemented with developer contributions.

While the design has been independently assessed by Hampshire County Council as the best possible approach, the programming of the works has yet to be finalised.

However, the council said it was working to integrate the scheme with planned statutory utility works in the area to minimise disruption — which could mean a start date at the end of September.

Further details will be confirmed once the scheme, approved last year by the Isle of Wight Council cabinet, has been formally commissioned with Island Roads.

However, such is the scale of the project, the council has advising motorists to expect delays during construction which is likely to take 15 months.

It said work would take place during the day and, at times, at night when it was sensible to do so.

Temporary traffic arrangements will be put in place — traffic lanes will be reduced, and contraflows and speed reductions introduced.

To assist access to the Riverway and Dodnor trading estates, parking will be suspended in both Manners View and Riverway.

Discussions have been held with St Mary’s Hospital and the emergency services to ensure all blue light responders are not unduly compromised by the works, as well as the Isle of Wight College and B&Q.

Cllr Ian Ward, the council’s cabinet member for infrastructure and transport, said: “It is important to be clear from the outset that a scheme of this nature, although bringing long-term benefits, is of such a scope and scale that some disruption to travel is inevitable.

“I think this project demonstrates the ability of the council to attract new government money to support schemes that will benefit the whole Island. I am particularly pleased the work will also bring about enhanced features not just for cars but for pedestrians and cyclists also.”

The scheme is designed to reduce congestion now as well as ‘future-proofing’ the junction given expected growth in traffic movement and the possibility of developing land nearby for new homes and economic regeneration projects.

View the plans here: 2637-180815-St-Marys-Junction-Signalised-V1.0.pdf

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