Transforming Travel Illustration

About our bid

Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole and Dorset, known as the South East Dorset City Region, are one of twelve city regions who have received funding as part of the Department for Transport’s £2.5bn Transforming Cities Fund (TCF). 

In June 2019 BCP Council and Dorset Council submitted a joint application to the Department for Transport (DfT), in the form of a draft Strategic Outline Business Case (SOBC).

The Transforming Cities Fund will improve productivity and spread prosperity through investment in public and sustainable transport in some of the largest English city regions. 

Extract - South East Dorset City Region SOBC 

“The city region suffers from a range of transport challenges which include its unique geography, incomplete strategic transport network and lack of joined up sustainable transport infrastructure which leads to high car usage for people who live and work or visit the area.

Furthermore, there is a lack of strategic connectivity to the wider area, in particular to Bristol and the West of England with very limited north-south links by road or rail. Rails links to London, although relatively frequent at two services per hour, are slow with a journey time of up to 2 hours."

"Highway links from the region to Southampton and London are also constrained, with high levels of congestion and relatively long travel times. Recent reports have identified the SED city region area as the 3rd most congested place in the UK, and 56th most congested in the world.” 

The Transforming Travel will focus on: 

  • 2 connectivity corridors: Poole to Ferndown and North Poole to Christchurch
  • Cycle routes
  • Improved network management
  • Expansion of bike share scheme
  • Improvements to workplace/education sites with ‘end of trip’ facilities
  • Smart ticketing via a new app
  • Bus interchange improvements
  • Bus infrastructure and public realm works
  • Wayfinding and signage
  • Safer routes to school 


  • Increased productivity
  • Better intra-urban connectivity
  • Reduced congestion
  • Fewer road related injuries and deaths
  • Enhanced travel choice
  • Significant investment from private sector transport operators
  • Improved health and wellbeing for the population
  • Reduced carbon emissions leading to better air quality 

Further information

We declared a climate and ecological emergency on 16 July 2019, committing our organisation to being carbon neutral by 2030. A report outlining over 150 proposed actions has been approved by Full Council.

For more information, please see our news feature about the funding announcement. 

Stay informed

A new online engagement tool will launch shortly, so that you can comment on the proposals, alongside a programme of engagement with local stakeholder groups over the summer. 

We'll launch a blog shortly.

You can also sign up to BCP Council’s news service or follow us on social media.

Background documents: