Construction of the first sustainable travel route funded through BCP Council and Dorset Council’s multi-million pound Transforming Travel - Transforming Cities Fund programme gets underway on 18 January.
The new 2.3km cycle path and walking improvements in Wimborne and Colehill will form the first part of a green travel route planned to run to and from Poole town centre, Ferndown and Wimborne. The work marks the start of south east Dorset’s largest ever investment in sustainable travel infrastructure creating 78kms of new cycling and walking routes for eco-friendly, safe and healthy journeys to work, education and leisure.
The works, due to complete towards the end of 2021, include:
- a new, largely segregated 2.3km two-way cycleway along Leigh Road/Wimborne Road West between the junction with Brook Road and Canford Bottom roundabout which will provide a protected route for people on bikes
- new ‘parallel crossings’ on Leigh Road (west of Old Ham Lane and west of Hayes Lane) allowing both pedestrians and cyclists to cross the road safely. These innovative crossings will be the first of their type in the Dorset Council area
- reducing the speed limit from 40mph to 30mph (from Canford Bottom roundabout to Brook Road) to make the road safer for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians
- junction improvements along Leigh Road giving priority to people walking and cycling around the area
- additional green space and planting including new trees
“A cleaner, greener and healthier place to live, work, and visit”
Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: “We are dedicated to ensuring we can all enjoy a cleaner, greener and healthier place to live, work, and visit. Putting the needs of the community front and centre, the project aims to support safe alternatives to the car and improve the user experience for everyone. The cycleway will benefit so many local people. Parents who have children in local schools will hopefully share my enthusiasm that their children can ride their bikes and scooters safely in the knowledge that the speed limit has been reduced. Wheelchair and mobility scooter users have two new crossings across the road. The walkways and cycle routes will provide easy access to play areas, leisure facilities and common land. Those commuting to Ferndown Industrial Estate will find themselves with increased options on how to travel to their place of work.”
“First green travel route that will transform local travel”
Councillor Mike Greene, Portfolio Holder for Transport and Sustainability at BCP Council said:
“We’re really excited to see the start of construction on south east Dorset’s first green travel route that will transform local travel, particularly for short journeys. It gives people real options about how they can get out and about locally without necessarily having to use the car. Being able to walk, cycle, scoot or run to work, school or for leisure has tremendous benefits for the environment, economy and people’s health and wellbeing.”
"Completing a gap in the national cycle network"
The scheme also completes a gap in the national cycle network (via the Castleman Trailway) to provide a continuous, attractive network for people on bikes to key destinations. The Leigh Road section of the Transforming Travel scheme has been part-funded by Sustrans.
James Cleeton, Sustrans director for the south of England said: “It’s great to see this project coming to fruition which will provide a safe, sustainable transport link between residential areas, employment, schools and leisure facilities.
“We need to make changes to the way we travel if we are to tackle the climate emergency, and make our towns happy and healthy places for everyone. By providing real alternatives to private cars, Dorset Council and BCP Council are taking important steps to doing this.”
To reduce disruption, the scheme will be delivered in sections up to 400m long. Traffic will be managed with a mix of traffic lights and stop/go boards. Roads will remain open in both directions.
We will seek to limit road closures to take place overnight where possible. The public are advised to plan journeys ahead and to note the new speed limit of 30mph.
Residents, local businesses and anyone who uses the route can keep up to date with the progress of the scheme on Dorset Council's website, @TravelDorset on Twitter, or by signing up to the Transforming Travel TCF newsletter.