|Length:||28 miles (45.1 km)|
|Route outline (key)|
The M27 is the South Coast Motorway, running from Cadnam in the west, bypassing Southampton and Fareham, to Portsmouth in the east. An extension to Chichester to the east was proposed, but eventually constructed as A27.
Being named South Coast Motorway, the M27 is often mistaken for the T37, which was referred to from the outset as the South Coast Trunk Route, leading to the myth that the M27 was intended to serve Folkestone and Honiton (or even further). Plans to upgrade parts of that trunk route to form a continuous high-standard road began in 1939, but only the section between Southampton and Havant was ever intended to be replaced by a new road. As the plans for it progressed, in 1968 that new road was confirmed to be a motorway.
Catenary lighting was removed from the central reservation between J7 and J8 in an extensive refurbishment. Gantries were added here in 2006. The road originally opened with an entirely concrete surface, which was replaced in stages, and since the 2000s only J5-7 is left. J3-4 and J11-12 were widened and refurbished in 2008.
- 1 Route History
- 2 Junctions
- 3 Services
- 4 Future
- 5 Traffic Data
- 6 Links
Owing to the close spacing of the interchanges, the M27 has always been used heavily by short-distance traffic. However, it was built to address a growing problem of holiday traffic arriving from the radial routes at the weekend and clogging up the streets of Southampton and Fareham. The route of the road was described by engineers as "basically a series of connected loops", referring to it functioning as a series of bypasses.
In 1989, a study was held with a view to widening the road between J4 and J12. This is likely to happen as a smart motorway scheme, between J4 and J11 only, in 2018.
Stoneham Missing Link
The section between J4 and J7 was the last to open, and it was dubbed the 'Missing Link' because the delay prevented the road from effectively bypassing Southampton.
The cause of the delay was that the chosen route had J5 south of its present site, taking the motorway through Southampton's Ford factory. The factory employed 3,000 people, and when objections were raised it was decided to avoid them by choosing a new route, running closer to Southampton Airport, and then created a slight curve to the south to lessen the bend onto the diversion. This instead crossed a crematorium and memorial garden.
The sliproads at J4 and J7 were flared with space left for its completion.
The original proposal for the new road had it run north of Hedge End and west of Botley. Before the public inquiry it was changed to run west of Hedge End (past West End), as that way it would pick up more Southampton commuter traffic - now a common source of congestion. Had this happened, the current A3024 J8 spur would have been a lot longer, and called the Windhover Link.
One advantage of this route was that it ensures the crossing of the River Hamble was by the existing road and rail bridges, rather than disturbing the area further upstream. A straight design matching the existing bridge height was chosen to further reduce the visual impact.
A long petition against the road came from residents of Burridge (north of J9). It had been suggested the road would disect the village, but the chosen plan routed it as far away from the village as was possible.
Fareham and Portsmouth Harbour
By the time construction had already started on what should have become part of the M27 on the Havant Bypass, there were still several possible routes for it to take at Fareham: the chosen route, running north of the town and then south of the ridge of Portsdown Hill; the authority's favoured route, bypassing Titchfield and Stubbington, running south of Hoeford and then bridging across to Horsea Island (close to J12); or a combination of the two, crossing over in what would have been a gap in development west of Portchester.
The route south of Fareham was thought to offer more traffic improvements, but the section along the mud flats past Portchester Castle was unpopular despite assurances the close routing of the road could increase tourism. Additional work would have been required on the A333 at Wickham and Southwick, which wouldn't benefit from this route. In the end, the higher costs, damage to the shipping industry and engineering difficulties associated with the route meant the northern option was hastily built, and local attention then turned to whether it was still too close to Fareham.
The route through Paulsgrove was then protected for the final few years before construction started, while houses were built around it.
Despite the southern route offering relief to the A32, it was suggested this didn't justify the costs as the road would still have needed upgrading, with one inspector in 1962 recommending a D3 improvement and a bridge to Portsmouth.
As of 2014, a Stubbington Bypass to compensate for the motorway not relieving the village is still being proposed.
Throughout construction it was assumed the motorway would reach Chichester, where the bypass may have been upgraded. While the road between Havant and Chichester was eventually built as D2 A27, the road between Portsmouth and Havant was partly upgraded to D4M in preparation.
At Chichester, one proposal, which was second to the chosen, cheaper layout, considered extending the M27 north of Chichester, with a spur to the Fishbourne Roundabout, terminating near the Portfield Roundabout.
see M27/Named Junctions page
Meon Valley services
Meon Valley is an unfinished MSA located just to the east of junction 9, whose sliproads are constructed as access to the services, including the extremely long westbound exit.
This link here mentions several.PDF Files concerning the future of the M27 Between Junctions 5-12, specifically Junctions 9-12, .
|Link||2002 AADF||2006 AADF||2010 AADF||2014 AADF|
- The M27 South Coast Motorway (Ower—Chilworth Section) Connecting Roads Scheme 1970 - Initial legislation from the construction of this section of motorway.
Motorway Services Online