Won’t a new road be impossible because of Allbrook Bridge? How will it cope with extra vehicles?
The existence of the rail-over-road bridge at Allbrook is an obvious “pinch-point” in the proposed new link road which will serve the proposed new community north of Bishopstoke and north & east of Fair Oak. However, this was always recognised and was a matter highlighted and addressed in the Eastleigh Strategic Transport Study (ESTS) which was produced in support of the 2015/2016 local plan issues and options consultation.
Since that time, the Council has been working with Hampshire County Council (in its role as local Highway Authority), neighbouring councils, land owners, site promoters and others to accurately model the effects of traffic on not only Allbrook Bridge but all existing roads and junctions within a wide radius from the site. The transport and traffic model is modelling a number of different development scenarios at different dates using different traffic scenarios and different highway network interventions (from a new link road to no link road and various combinations of junction and other improvements) in order to fully test the impacts of all possible combinations of future development and traffic scenarios.
A number of different highway alignment improvements to improve visibility along the approach to the bridge to increase traffic capacity through it were identified in the ESTS back in 2015/2016. These options and a number of other physical interventions in the vicinity of the bridge continue to be tested.
Numerous discussions have been had with Network Rail in the process of drawing up reasonable options for testing through the model in order to ensure that it and all other parties are comfortable with what is being tested. Highways England is also involved in considering potential impacts of the new road at the Allbrook Way / M3 J12 interchange. The modelling runs are still underway but there is nothing from the initial findings to indicate that Allbrook bridge or any other feature or structure presents an insurmountable problem for the development coming forward.