A SCHEME to widen the A31 at Ringwood goes on display to the public on Friday.

Highways England will present their options for the dual carriageway - which will be widened to three lanes - between 3pm-8pm tomorrow (Friday, June 30) and 10am-4pm on Saturday (July 1) at the Gateway in The Furlong, Ringwood.

Works are set to take place on the westbound carriageway between the junction of the A338 Salisbury Road at Ringwood and the turn-off for the B3081 towards Verwood.

The consultation will run for six weeks giving information about the £12-£13.5million scheme, expected to start in March 2020. It is hoped that by widening the road - which crosses the River Avon twice - high volume summer traffic to the coast will be eased.

The scheme also aims to increase safety for motorists at the junction of the often controversial West Street, and to provide infrastructure to support growth plans, employment opportunities and housing.

Cllr Philip Day, of Ringwood’s Town and Environment Committee, said while he did not yet know what the options being put forward were he was keen to see how the scheme would be managed.

“I don’t yet know what it is they are proposing,” he said. “I’m pleased we are going to find out but it is still a case of wait and see.”

“I’m looking forward to when all will be revealed. My single biggest concern is that I am fascinated and intrigued to know how they are going to do it.

“If we have a contraflow or lane closures that is going to cause absolute chaos. It was appalling when the A338 was done and this has the chance of becoming a real bottleneck. What consequence is it going to have in town?”

Neil Andrew, senior project manager, said: “Highways England is committed to improving this stretch of road in order to reduce congestion, improve journey times and improve safety along the A31 along with improving the cyclist and pedestrian facilities in Ringwood town centre.”