Consultation on Transforming Cities Fund's Last Two Sustainable Travel Routes Gets Underway

 

Consultation on Transforming Cities Fund’s remaining two (of a total of six) sustainable travel routes proposing major cycling, walking and bus improvements across south east Dorset is now live. The two routes are the longest ones in the TCF programme, with 51km of green travel options being proposed, connecting Wimborne and Ferndown in the north with Poole town centre in the south, and Merley in the west to Christchurch in the east.

Over 12,000 people have already viewed plans for the first four TCF sustainable travel routes which will be delivered jointly by BCP Council and Dorset Council and funded through the £100+ million Transforming Cities Fund (TCF). The remaining two routes are now open for consultation until 14 June 2021.

As well as new cycling and walking paths, these two sustainable travel routes have a particular emphasis on improving the bus journey experience. New shelters at bus stops with real-time service information are proposed, alongside highway infrastructure changes to improve bus journey times, reliability, and connections between cycle and walking routes and bus travel.

BCP and Dorset councils are encouraging people to view detailed maps and plans and complete a feedback survey by visiting haveyoursay.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/transforming-travel.

Proposals include:

  • New and improved cycle and walking paths
  • New pedestrian crossings and wider pavements
  • Improving accessibility to bus stops, replacing bus shelters and new real time service information
  • Changes to road infrastructure and traffic signals to improve bus journey times
  • Smart ticketing
  • Installation of new bridges
  • Junction improvements prioritising pedestrians and cyclists
  • New wayfinding signage and lighting
  • Lower speed limits
  • Improved pavement access and crossings for people with mobility needs including drop kerbs and tactile paving

As well as linking residential and major employments areas and schools, the two routes will improve connectivity for key local destinations including numerous industrial estates and business parks (Pottery Business Park, Mannings Heath Industrial Estate, Ferndown Industrial Estate, the new proposed Wessex Fields Business Park), hospitals (Royal Bournemouth Hospital, Poole Hospital), high street retailers and retail parks (Turbary Retail Park, Castlepoint Shopping Centre).

Councillor Mike Greene, portfolio holder for transport and sustainability at BCP Council said:
“We hope that the public will take the time to view and give their feedback on the latest TCF sustainable travel route plans which propose major improvements to cycling, walking and bus routes. These should help those who want to travel sustainably all the way from Poole to Wimborne and Ferndown, and from Merley to Christchurch. Sustainable travel is the way forward to transform the way we get about locally, particularly for short journeys, and it’s really important that people take the opportunity to have their say on helping us build a greener, healthier and a better-connected South East Dorset.”

Councillor Ray Bryan, portfolio holder for highways, travel and environment at Dorset Council said:
“A series of major new and improved changes to the way we get around the Dorset area are being proposed – we want to know if people agree or disagree with the plans. This is the chance for people to shape the future of green travel in our region. It’s important we hear your views.”

Andrew Wickham, managing director for Morebus said:
“We are keen to work with BCP and Dorset councils on these plans to increase the number of bus lanes and improve bus infrastructure - and to give buses priority at traffic signals to rapidly improve journey times across the area. All this is critical, considering the National Bus Strategy launched earlier this year.”

David Squire, managing director for Yellow Buses said:
“We are all aware how bad congestion is within the conurbation, the TCF programme offers a real opportunity to improve bus journey times on these two sustainable travel routes, supporting both the economic recovery and ambitions on clean air. I would therefore urge residents to examine the proposals closely and provide comments."

Online consultation for TCF’s sustainable travel routes is being supported by a series of workshops for TCF programme partners, local interest groups and businesses.

Printed copies of the proposals and the response survey are also available on request by emailing transformingtravel@bcpcouncil.gov.uk or by calling 01202 123456.

The TCF sustainable travel routes form a major part of the region’s Transforming Travel programme to create a greener, healthier and better-connected region. The routes aim to give people safe, quick and environmentally friendly travel alternatives to driving, particularly for short journeys. This in turn will help reduce road congestion as well as carbon emissions.