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{{UK road routebox|
road= A31
svg= yes
direction= East-Southwest
start= Guildfordmarker
destinations= Winchestermarker

end= Bere Regismarker


}}The A31 is a major trunk road in southern Englandmarker that runs from Guildfordmarker in Surreymarker to Bere Regismarker in Dorsetmarker.

Route of road

The road begins in the centre of Guildford, meeting the A3 road before running south west along the Hog's Backmarker. It continues past Farnhammarker, Altonmarker and New Alresfordmarker before joining the route of the M3 motorway at its junction just east of Winchestermarker. The original route (now the A3090 road) continues as a minor A-road between Winchester, Romseymarker and the New Forest. The M27 motorway flows seamlessly into the road near Lyndhurstmarker, from where it continues as a trunk road through the New Forestmarker and past Ringwoodmarker, Ferndownmarker and Wimborne Minstermarker before terminating at its roundabout junction with the A35 road at Bere Regismarker. The A35 is not a trunk road east of Bere Regis, but is a continuation of the A31 trunk road to the west.

The A31 is part of the ancient route from London to Winchester.

The A31 between Wimborne Minster and Bere Regis is primarily a single-carriageway road, used by heavy goods vehicles and as such is particularly slow, especially during busy times of the day.

A31 New Forest Dual Carriageway

The upgrade of the A31 through the New Forest started in the early 1960s, following two decades of debate. The Government's intention was to create at least one high-speed route to the south coast, while the guardians of the forest, the Verderers, resisted any further development.

The first section of the A31 to be dualled was the section that the M27 feeds into at Jct1; the westbound carriageway is the original two-way A-road while the eastbound side was laid down nearby. Further developments occurred from Ringwood to Picket Post near the turn-off for Burleymarker. From 1966-1972, the remaining sections were completed rapidly due to the construction of the M27 motorway up to Jct 1, which opened in 1972.

The Highways Agency declares the New Forest A31 section as being 'an abnormal and heavy load route'. The westbound route, particularly, suffers from poor horizontal and vertical alignment due to its original function as an old single carriageway. The Highways Agency's route management strategy (RMS) for the A31 has identified that the westbound carriageway needs realigning at Cadnammarker where it undulates rapidly before negotiating a sharp right turn and passes an at-grade U-turn box, though there is no timetable for this at present. There is also a pinch point at Ringwood where the A31 interplexes with the A338; the section of road was widened to four lanes each way for the duration of the A338 interplex (following the upgrade of the Ashley Heath Junction to Bournemouth in the early 1990s) but a short section where westbound A338 traffic joins westbound A31 was left with 2 lanes, and the lack of capacity at this section causes safety problems and queues at peak times. Dorset County Council cites relieving this junction as a high priority in the Bournemouth LTP 2006-2011.

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