Winchester: Government approves £200m motorway junction rebuild
Winchester: Government approves £200m motorway junction rebuild
Supporters say the scheme will cut congestion while protesters argue it will damage the environment.
Google M3 junction 9 northbound exitGoogle
The scheme will improve congestion on the M3, according to National Highways

A £200m scheme to rebuild a motorway junction has been approved by the government.

The project will improve congestion at junction nine of the M3 near Winchester, according to National Highways.

Protesters told a planning inquiry the plan was environmentally damaging, while business leaders said it would benefit Hampshire's economy.

Construction is due to start in early 2025 and finish in late 2027.

Hampshire Chamber of Commerce previously said it was concerned about diversion routes through Winchester while the work took place.

However, it said the scheme would benefit tourists, cruise passengers and lorries using the M3 and A34.

Hampshire Friends of the Earth told the inquiry the project was "economically unsound, contrary to the UK's climate commitments... significantly damaging to the natural environment and damaging to the health of the local population".

National Highways revised its plan after Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust said it would "destroy important habitats and harm wildlife".

However, the trust previously said the changes did not fully atone for "environmental damage and fragmentation caused by the construction of the M3 motorway in the '90s".

The scheme will widen the motorway to four lanes and create new links to the A34 and A33 in both directions.

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