Hampshire County Council commissioned H-B Associates to help develop new principles for the design and management of highways. This included a pilot study of the A32 Meon Valley, and an exploration of ways to reduce highway clutter and improve safety and the quality of life in rural towns and villages.
Particular attention has focused on the village of West Meon, as a pilot example of what could be achieved to reduce traffic speeds and to ensure that the main road felt part of the village, rather than part of the highway.
Some of the initial recommendations have now been implemented in West Meon, limited to changes in surface materials. Initial speed monitoring indicates an average reduction in traffic speeds of between 3 and 4 mph for the village centre. This is sufficient to significantly improve the safety and quality of life in the village, without major implications for the 6-7,000 vehicles that pass through daily.