Aerial Photo by Steve Mew

PHOTO GALLERY: SAY HELLO TO ST MARY’S JUNCTION – MAJOR SCHEME COMPLETED ON TIME AND ON BUDGET

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A major scheme to transform St Mary’s Roundabout into the Island’s largest junction has been completed over the weekend, coming in on time and on budget.

Construction work has taken place over the past 14 months to redevelop the roundabout at the top of the dual carriageway into 2 separate traffic light junctions, increasing capacity in the area significantly. The scheme is intended to ‘future-proof’ the road network given the expected growth in traffic movement over the coming years and to also unlock former prison land at Camp Hill for redevelopment – an announcement on which is due shortly.

Motorists feared significant disruption during the works but the scheme has progressed well, despite the coronavirus pandemic, with travel delays kept to a minimum. Motorists will now be familiar with queues heading to and from Cowes, however, from today, all lanes are open and the permanent set of traffic lights are fully functional.

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What’s changed?

Heading northbound, there are now 4 lanes of traffic – 2 to go straight on to Cowes and 2 to turn right to both the Industrial Estate and B&Q/College. If heading to Cowes, motorists are now greeted with a second traffic light junction at the end of Forest Road with a left-turn slip. There are 2 lanes to go straight on to Cowes (right hand lane for the hospital also).

For those heading southbound from Cowes, you first come to the Forest Road junction with 2 ahead lanes and 1 right-turn lane, for those heading towards the West Wight. Further south there are 2 straight-ahead lanes, a right turn lane to Hunnyhill and a sweeping left slip with a give way line for those heading onto the Industrial Estate.

Looking northbound approaching the Forest Road traffic lights – 2 lanes towards Cowes with a left slip towards the West Wight

If leaving B&Q or the Dodnor estate, there are now 4 lanes – 1 to go straight across to Hunnyhill or turn right to Cowes, a dedicated lane to turn right to Cowes and 2 lanes to join the southbound dual carriageway. All 4 lanes are under traffic light control.

Heading up Hunnyhill from the town, motorists must now bear to the right and wait in 1 of 2 lanes – left to go to Cowes, or the middle lane to go straight across or right onto the southbound dual carriageway. At Hunnyhill there is now a dedicated bus lane for Route 1 buses travelling from Cowes to Newport.

The last change is when heading from Forest Road onto St Mary’s. 2 lanes of traffic can now queue with both lanes turning right. There is also a left slip for those going from the West Wight towards the hospital or Cowes.

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The left slip coming from Cowes onto the Industrial Estate has a give way line, joining traffic heading onto the estate from the dual carriageway and Hunnyhill

Next steps

There will now be a period of tinkering to get the balance of the traffic signals just right. In addition, there is a small amount of work left to complete in the newly formed cul-de-sac at the top of Hunnyhill. A temporary speed limit imposed at the start of the works remains in force.

The entire area is now completely unrecognisable when compared to how it looked last Summer and a new generation of drivers will be learning to navigate a mainland-style junction unlike anything seen on the Island before.

The project, the largest on the Island in decades, got underway on 30th September 2019 with the permanent lights switched on for the first time on Friday 20th November 2020. All lanes were opened for the first time during the early hours of Sunday 22nd November 2020. The site will be completely cleared by Christmas.

Councillor Ian Ward, Cabinet member for transport and infrastructure, said:

“I am delighted these enhancements have been delivered on schedule and on budget by Island Roads and I would like to also thank road users, businesses and residents as well as local schools and the Isle of Wight College for their patience and understanding during construction.

“Now the substantial work is in place we will begin to see the benefits of this new system for all highway users. It is important to remember that this scheme is not just about easing congestion today, it will future-proof the junction against the predicted increase in car journeys for years to come.”

Kevin Burton, Island Roads network manager, said:

“Given the importance of this busy strategic route, it was vital that we kept on schedule and I am delighted that, despite the challenges, we have managed to do that.

“So many businesses, not least Island companies like Crown Park Construction and Wight Building Materials as well as our own crews, have worked flexibly and with great dedication throughout the past 14 months to keep the project moving.

“We are really pleased to finish the main element of the work on time. The new system is designed to improve journeys and journey times for pedestrians and cyclists as well as motorists and bus users and I am confident the benefits of this work will quickly become apparent to all users.”

Councillor Ward added:

“It may take time for people to get used to these new arrangements and I would urge all road users to take additional care when using this junction until they become more familiar with the new road layout and signals.”

Island Echo has already been out to capture the new-look St Mary’s Junction from all angles, giving you an idea of what to expect next time you pass through Newport.

PHOTO GALLERY

All photos are copyright to Island Echo. For usage, email [email protected]

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Peter Parker

Why are there posts in the middle of pavements? All that cash spent and no common sense

steve

To Prevent pavement parking and to give obstacles for the disabled to negotiate

Kenneth higham

That’s all seems fine but how the hell do you now get to Cowes if you’re coming out of the hospital. It was easy turning left then just around the roundabout and away you went … And Now?????

isla wight

out the back of the hospital and join the right turn lane i suppose, if the barrier’s not down? Ideally could do with an aerial view to see those bits. Most of it makes sense and will probably work, if people use the correct lanes and don’t swerve in and out like at Coppins.

Katherine

Follow the lane for b&q and go round the roundabout

Sharon

You just said it yourself exactly what to do! Go left, stay left go round the b&q roundabout & turn right to Cowes. If you can’t get that, then just follow the signposts!

Chad Mullen

If the floating bridge is running, you can go along Medina rd and back that way.

Chad Mullen

If the floating bridge is running you can go down the dual carriage way and back along Medina left at roundabout and down to E Cowes then on floaty.

Disconbobulated

Sharon should be a Karen.

Scud .

You go around the bandq roundabout then turn right .

billyboy

The plan is that you come out of the hospital, push your way across the traffic as if turning right into Forest Road and do a U turn at the traffic lights. One of very few sets of lights in the country where you are allowed to do a U turn.

Scud .

No you cannot do a u turn there .

A Blackburn

Yes you can

temperance

Every report I can find seems to think roundabouts are better than traffic lights, as roundabouts can handle more traffic, reduce delays, make drivers more aware therefore usually calming there speed, are safer, cheaper cost for maintenance and less of it. Even things like when a crash happens a roundabout is safer as not so likely to be T boned as at a junction when someone jumps a red light, the angle on a roundabout apparently makes it less likely to be fatal or serious. Maybe cities can easy bottle necks further a long with controlled lights but here? Hopefully… Read more »

YJC

Where is the greenery/shrubbery and plants to replace the original roundabout as in your picture?
I’m still waiting to hear from Councillors Ian Ward and David Stewart whether an Environmental Impact Assessment was done.

Sharon

Where abouts would you put trees at that junction? Belt up!

Treesa

Yes. That included the hedge between the previous 2 traffic flows. We’ve lost a helluva lot of greenery.
I guess the leading councillors will move somewhere that has retained its beauty, once they have finished here.

Jeffi

Here we go….. let the complaining begin…

Hayle

People love to moan . I am sure all will work just fine

Pepe

Nobody is saying it ‘won’t work’, but rather: A. Was it necessary? And B. Will it improve traffic flow into and out of Newport?
The answer to both of these questions is no.

Banner

Two points….
1. This work was carried out by Crownpark. A Island company, coming in on time, and on budget. Maybe the council and Island roads should use them more often. Rather than expensive, don’t give toss mainland firms. It proves we do have the skill set on our doorstep.

2. In all the photos…. Where’s all the tail backs of traffic. I understand the pics may not been taken during busy times, but here’s hoping.

Hayle

Well done Cp

Chris

Already had some butt head using the HOSPITAL LANE to over take traffic going to cowes then tried to cut in outside the prison and when I didn’t let him in he decided to leave full beam on all the way to cowes.

Chris

So why does picture 35 that you have taken clearly say HOSPITAL right hand lane in big RED letters and Cowes left and lane. Does it not???????

Chris

This message sums up what is wrong with island drivers, traffic runs much smoother if people use the merging lanes and nobs like you don’t speed up because they are worried about somebody trying to get one over on them and over take. Have a day off

Chris

So the person using the right hand lane as an overtaking lane outside a hospital next to a crossing and a bus stop isn’t a knob? When the cars in the left hand lane are travelling at the correct SPEED LIMIT. I understand now thanks for clearing it up it’s an overtaking lane my bad.

Mojo

There is not a dedicated hospital line if your in the outside lane nearest the hospital you would carry on and merge like you always did ,

Pepe

Best not tell Chris that, he’s one of those daft overner twits.

Tom Joseph Ring

Bet them house prices have sky rocketed, now they have a private road

Old bean

Let’s see how many crashes in first week

Pete Sandown

Pointless

Last edited 2 days ago by Pete Sandown
Noodles

Will have to wait till summer to c what happens,when there is another 50000 cars trying to get from cowes to ryde when the floating bridge comes out of service for technical problems

Tim C

This is the most stupid waste of money and does not in any way improve traffic flow. The roundabout was fine and you could be across in and out the other side in 60 seconds most times. Now you have to brake and idle at the traffic lights, then again at the second set if red thus ruining fuel economy, taking up to 5 times as long and causing more pollution. Well done Isle of Wight council for being total morons again.

Level Phil

Unnecessarily complex.

Mickey the mouse

Never been stuck in traffic at the roundabout before this abomination. Total waste of money. Everyone knows it’s Coppins bridge that is the problem. All this is doing is making things worse. Based on increasing traffic in coming years? Who said that? Government predicting less traffic in coming years due to green card and taxes on motorists.
More lies about the reasons

Seagull

Finished on time and within budget, that’s good. But what happens when traffic signals stop working as some quite often do? It will be utter chaos. A roundabout is totally self sufficient and won’t break down! Watch this space….

Pepe

Nice to see HUGE amounts of greenery eradicated. I expected nothing less from a bunch of Tory fascists who are bent (in more ways than one) on destroying the Island, all while proclaiming a “””climate emergency”””.

Scud .

I have to use this junction twice a day. It’s cut my journey time home in half .it’s much better than the roundabout was .Don’t understand the moaning.

Don’t hate change

There are so many people on the island that don’t like change and get upset when things do change yes I know a lot of greenery was taken away but we still have a lot more green space than other parts of the uk

Gorob

Did the Isle of Wight really need such a system?
The visual impact is horrendous.
Too many light just holding back the flow. It was fine as it was with the roundabout.
What has this achieved, what difference has it made???
Another waste of money and time and a visual disaster to the Island.
What next I ask.

Treesa

For a joyous moment I thought they’d found somewhere to create a new rounabout with all that lovey vegetation on it. That’s a loss.

bobthebuilder

there,s soon going to crashes but seems to be good at the moment problem never was this its fxxcking biffens bridge thats the problem that,s where the money should of been spent oh and the fuxxcking useless floating turd..

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