Transforming Cities Fund’s plans to improve green travel set to kick-off at Kings Park

Artists impression of the new TCF funded cycle and footpath in Kings Park

 

Improved greener travel options linking Bournemouth and Christchurch with the installation of new and upgraded cycle paths and footpaths though Kings Park is set to get underway.

The work, which will also include improved lighting and signage, and the installation of a new crossing on Harewood Avenue, is due to start in late July.

The work, funded through BCP and Dorset councils’ Transforming Cities Fund (TCF), will form part of an 8km sustainable travel route between Bournemouth railway station and Jumpers Common in Christchurch that will connect key residential and employment areas including Bournemouth town centre, Royal Bournemouth Hospital, the Law Courts, JP Morgan, Wessex Fields and the Littledown Centre.

Plans for these improvements were informed by responses gathered during public engagement in late 2020 and formal consultation which ran 24 February to 31 March this year.  There was overall support for the plans with more than two thirds of respondents (67%) agreeing with the proposed changes. The plans for separate cycling and walking paths were particularly popular.  All responses were analysed and helped shape the final scheme designs.  

The work will be carried out in three phases:

Phase one (end July to early September 2021) - Harewood Avenue

  • Installation of a new, raised toucan crossing on Harewood Avenue near the roundabout will link the cycle and walking path and provide dedicated space for pedestrians and cyclists. The existing toucan crossing and speed cushions further south east on Harewood Avenue will be removed
  • Extension of the 20mph zone covering all arms of the roundabout onto Harewood Avenue, Littledown Avenue and Harewood Crescent

Phase two (Sept 2021 to spring 2022) - Ashley Road to Harewood Avenue

  • A new, separate cycle path will be installed next to the existing footpath between the Vitality Stadium and Harewood Avenue. This will create a 2m wide footpath and a 3m wide two-way cycle path, separated by an area of wildflower planting where space allows
  • A new informal raised crossing will be installed over King’s Park Drive between the car park at AFCB Vitality Stadium and Kings Park Bowling Green to slow traffic and provide a safer area for pedestrians to cross
  • A new separate 3m wide two-way cycle path and 2m wide footpath separated by an area of wildflower planting will be installed alongside Kings Park Bowling Green
  • Installation of new lighting to improve safety and security
  • New wayfinding signs
  • Disabled parking spaces will be relocated from the eastern side of Kings Park café closer to the Ashley Road entrance to improve access to the cricket pavilion
  • Changing parking bay locations on King’s Park Drive to create safe access along the cycle track through Kings Park.  Bollards will be installed on the existing line-marked cycle lane on King’s Park Drive to prevent vehicles from parking within it

Phase three (estimated start/completion dates spring 2022 to Autumn 2022) - Harewood Avenue to Sevenoaks Drive

  • Improvements to the existing shared use cycle and walking path between Kings Park and Cowell Drive, including widening where required, and vegetation clearance
  • Other existing cycle and walking paths on the eastern side of Kings Park will be widened and resurfaced
  • Installation of new lighting to improve safety and security

Councillor Mike Greene, Portfolio Holder for Transport and Sustainability at BCP Council said:

“Kings Park is an important location connecting Christchurch and Bournemouth.  These planned improvements will really open up sustainable travel as a viable, attractive, healthy and safe way to commute between these areas.  It’s all part of our vision to transform the way people get around locally without having to rely on the car, particularly for short journeys.”

Final design plans of proposed improvements at Kings Park can be downloaded here.