Ringwood: New Signage To Improve A31 Safety

18 August 2014, 06:20

Work starts today to improve the road signs on a stretch of the A31 near Ringwood where a teenager was killed.

16-year-old Jade Clark was knocked off her moped in February last year. A driver was later jailed for causing her death.

58-year-old Brian Hampton from Kent was jailed for six years in September 2013 after being found guilty of perverting the course of justice. Hampton, a disqualified driver, admitted driving without insurance at the time of the collision and causing death by careless driving but denied perverting the course of public justice.

16-year-old Jade died after a crash involving a Volvo XC90 as she rode her moped along the A31 near Ashley Heath, ten miles north of Bournemouth, at 8.23pm on Sunday 24 February 2013.

The Highways Agency says more than 70 new signs will help drivers pick the right lane and avoid last minute changes.

Philip Sheppard, Highways Agency Asset Manager said:

"Safety is a top priority for the Highways Agency and the installation of these signs will help drivers on their journeys along the A31, helping them pick the right lanes for their trip and avoid last minute lane changes.

"Installing these signs will require overnight closures of the A31 but as well as installing these signs we will use this opportunity to carry out road surface repairs and maintenance work on roadside drainage."

Councillor Michael Thierry from Ringwood Town Council said:

"We're absolutely delighted. The council's been concerned about the safety aspect of the section of the A31 that runs through Ringwood and we have been petitioning for many years for improvements.

"It does have a series of lane changes that is important to get right. The Highways Agency is doing a particularly good job.

"I think this is only the second time signage has been looked at and improved, so long overdue but very welcome."

The work on the westbound carriageway will be carried out with full overnight closures between the M27 and the A338 Ringwood roundabout, between 10pm and 6am, on:

Monday 18 August, Tuesday 19 August, Tuesday 26 August, Wednesday 27 August, Monday 1 September and Tuesday 2 September.

Further overnight closures on the westbound carriageway between Poulner Hill and the Verwood Interchange are scheduled for Thursday 28 August, Wednesday 3 September, Thursday 4 September and Monday 8 September.

Clearly signed diversions will be in place during the closures. Drivers travelling westbound will be diverted via the A326, A35, A3060 and A338.

The work on the eastbound carriageway will be carried out with full overnight closures between the Ashley Heath roundabout and the M27, between 10pm and 6am, on Wednesday 20 August and Thursday 21 August. Drivers travelling eastbound will be diverted via the A338, A3060, A35 and A326.