COUNCILLORS have called for further discussions on traffic in Ringwood and the reversal of traffic in Meeting House Lane.

Traffic concerns were raised during a meeting of Ringwood Town Council last week following a proposal over improvements to the main roundabout in the town.

Councillor Jeremy Heron suggested using Community Infrastructure Levy funds to improve the main roundabout which had an issue with lorries “ploughing” the corners while trying to squeeze past.

He said: “This is not going to fix itself – it is going to get worse.”

He suggested taking some of the CIL funding and approaching Hampshire County Council to see if it would be prepared to contribute to a project to improve the roundabout and “stop lorries from driving over the grass and destroying it”.

Town mayor, Cllr Tony Ring, said the issue was caused by “traffic stacking up” and “not allowing them sufficient room to get round and by it” and added that it was going to get worse with the A31 works creating “more traffic congestion problems”.

Deputy mayor, Cllr Philip Day told the meeting he would be happy to add the roundabout to the project list but also felt the reversal of traffic on Meeting House Lane needed to be revisited by the town council and discussed further.

He said it had caused “some fairly major problems” and added: “Everybody who is in the Waitrose car park or the main town car park now has to access via the main roundabout.”

The A31 Slip Road via West Street was closed permanently in March as part of improvement works. The direction of traffic flow in Meeting House Lane (between The Furlong and Market Place) was also reversed.

Cllr Heron added: “The roundabout is a simple thing but as far as the traffic flow within this town is concerned we have a major project that at some point we are going to have to consider.”

The closure of West Street, he said, had caused “some pretty good congestion” especially at peak times like 5pm.

The removal of the reversal of the traffic, he felt, was “very unlikely” and would mean there was only a single point of exit out of the Market Place.

“We are in a difficult situation,” he said.

“As a small market town we don’t particularly appear on Hampshire’s web as important for traffic flow and if we are going to see this town survive then we are going to have to consider it,” added Cllr Heron.

“We have created the perfect cul-de-sac for Ringwood town’s high street. Personally, I believe it will continue to degenerate unless we actually seriously look at what is going on down there.”

Cllr Day disagreed with Cllr Heron on the single point of access to the Market Place and that if Meeting House Lane was put back to how it was there would be three exits.

Cllr Ring said it was “part of a bigger debate” that should be given serious thought and brought back to a future town council meeting.

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