A BCP Council scheme to provide safer space for cycling and walking on Boscombe and Southbourne Overcliff Drives, which was intended to relieve pressure on the promenade, and where concerns about speeding traffic have been a barrier to switching local journeys in that area, will be delayed to allow more time for dialogue with local residents.
The scheme was not planned to close the area to cars or prevent clifftop parking, but only to remove the through traffic. The idea was first identified at the time when our seafront was inundated with holidaymakers, and the summertime ban on promenade cycling was about to commence. It also intended to provide a route that can be used more easily by pedestrians and cyclists year round, where storms can render the promenade impassable. There have been a number of collisions involving injuries to people on bikes at junctions along the Overcliff in recent years and making roads safer as well as encouraging sustainable journeys remain a priority for the council.
Councillor Andy Hadley, Portfolio Holder for Transport, BCP Council commented;
“As part of the response to COVID-19, it’s clear to see that the way we travel is changing, and as we head towards the new normal – going back to school and returning to workplaces – we want to support people to choose to travel more sustainably for shorter journeys. This also supports our vision is to create vibrant communities with outstanding quality of life where everyone plays an active part, and the new National Walking and Cycling Strategy.
“The Overcliff scheme has generated huge interest and concern in the local area. Whilst these travel measures are designed to be temporary and to allow time for people to give their feedback based on their experiences, it is clear we need to pause our plan for the Boscombe / Southbourne experimental traffic scheme and to seek further views from local people.
“We are keen to work with the local community on the extent and location of low-cost experimental measures in this area, and we need the views of those living, working in, and passing through the shopping areas of Southbourne Grove, Beechwood and Wentworth Avenue, Parkwood, Seabourne and Southbourne Road in order to shape a future scheme.
“We must recognise that doing nothing will not solve congestion, or deliver on our climate emergency response, and that some of the respondents were keen to see the scheme implemented. We are still keen to implement a scheme in this area.
The scheme at Boscombe and Southbourne Overcliff Drives is in direct response to the government’s call to get more people cycling and walking as the country recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
Councillor Hadley, added; “The tight timescales and limited upfront consultation was mandated directly by government requirements to implement these schemes urgently to combat gridlock, and to consult over the following months.
“There are other schemes being implemented across the conurbation to support commuting, school and leisure journeys, and we are keen to ensure that the value of these is better understood.
“We will therefore also pause and consult with local people before implementing the planned measure on the railway bridge on Cleveland Road. This will mean that is not in place for the return to school this September.
“We intend to pursue the remaining schemes already in progress as part of phase one, and we had already planned that if we are successful with funding for phase two work, this would be done in a different way with early consultation given available time. A scheme for Boscombe and Southbourne will become part of that phase two work”
More information can be found by clicking here.
Plans for a new link road and junction directly connecting the A338 with the Wessex Fields business park are still being progressed, with a new planning application underway.
The new planning application is in the process of being submitted to the Local Planning Authority and will be subject to the 30 day statutory consultation period.
The proposed scheme will improve the transport infrastructure in this part of the town by creating a new access from the A338 to the Wessex Fields Business Park.
If approved the scheme has the potential to create around 2,000 new jobs at Wessex Fields business park, safeguard the existing 10,000 jobs in the area, as well as provide a much needed second access to the Royal Bournemouth Hospital site.
With support from Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the Council submitted a planning application at the end of last year which has been subject to public consultation and demonstrates the independent nature of the relationship between the Council as both the applicant for this scheme and the Local Planning Authority. During this time the Council in its capacity as the applicant has positively addressed a number of issues and concerns raised by the Local Planning Authority and statutory consultees including Wessex Water, Natural England, Historic England and the Environment Agency. This process has resulted in the Council in its capacity as the applicant to submit additional information as part of the planning application process.
Due to the complexity of the original planning application and the number of changes being brought forward, a new planning application will be submitted taking on board all the additional information, and addressing the feedback that has been raised.
Larry Austin, Service Director for Environment, said; “Since submitting the planning application, significant progress has been made to address the issues and concerns raised by statutory consultees and the local community. We are pleased to report that the holding objection from Wessex Water has now been removed, and there is agreement in principle from Natural England, subject to planning conditions and funding arrangements.
“As the applicant, the Council has listened carefully to the concerns raised and we have amended the plans accordingly. A new planning application will streamline this feedback and allow a much clearer and accurate picture of what is now being proposed to be submitted.”
The most notable elements from the feedback that form part of the new planning application include:
Re-alignment of the spine road: To address concerns about the impact of the proposed road from the A338 to Deansleigh Road on adjacent properties, the alignment will be changed to ensure that noise mitigation can be provided using a reasonable height fence and landscaping proposals.
Cob barn: Historic England submitted a response and the new planning application will include the retention of the Cob Barn
Sustainable Travel: A major element of the scheme is to provide enhanced facilities for pedestrians, cyclists and bus users leading to more sustainable journeys in the area. The plans include new walking and cycling routes connecting Wessex Fields to the Stour Valley Way, as well as new pedestrian/ cycle links between Deansleigh Road and Riverside Avenue.
Greenbelt: A Nature Reserve is proposed adjacent to the development site which will enable improved public access to the greenbelt.
Trees: All veteran trees will be retained as part of the proposed scheme. Substantial work has been undertaken to ensure that they are protected to ensure their longevity, and they form an integral part of the landscaping proposals.
Flooding: Whilst a section of the scheme will be in the outer extent of the River Stour floodplain, and there is a small loss of capacity for the flood plain, this is off-set by a new landscape design. These will also form part of the landscaping features and contribute towards making this area a place where people can spend leisure time in a green open space.
Air quality: assessments on the proposed scheme show that there will be negligible impact on air quality.
Street lighting: will be in the development site only and not on the new junction and overbridge. Embankment planting is planned to shield light from vehicle headlights, particularly in relation to nearby housing.
The new planning application will consist of Phase 1 and Phase 2. At the current time, only Phase 1 has funding from the Dorset LEP, with construction due to commence in Spring 2019 subject to planning consent. Work on Phase 2 will only commence when appropriate funding has been made available.
Works start again in earnest from Monday.
Ensure you look at A338.com for all the latest info and updates.
Encourage staff to (where possible!)…
We have some preparation works on the A338 coming up next week which, as we previously advised, will mean some off-peak lane closures. These will be kept as short as possible but, as we have multiple areas to work on, this is difficult.
All closures will start at 9.30am and finish at 3.30pm, subject to low enough traffic flow for it to be safe to put out the cones.
Lane 1 southbound closed from the quarry entrance on the A338 (should only be a short closure)
Lane 1 southbound closed from the quarry entrance down to Cooper Dean. This will be a long closure, and it will appear that not a lot is going on. A Road Restraint Risk Assessment Process needs to be completed. Vegetation clearance outside the water works will also be finished.
Lane 1 southbound may be closed if work from Monday and Tuesday needs finishing.
Lane 1 northbound closed from Cooper Dean. This is for the sign base for the scheme information board and Southern Gas Network will be on site to mark out their gas main. Vegetation clearance at Blackwater Junction will also be done.
Lane 1 northbound closed from Cooper Dean for installation of two signage bases – one at Blackwater and one north of Blackwater.
The current roadworks are part of the £20 million Bournemouth International Growth Programme to improve the A338 and B3073 corridors – aimed at facilitating better access into and around Bournemouth Airport as well as improving journey times and unlocking employment land at Aviation Business Park and at Wessex Fields.
We are aware these works will cause some delays and as a result have been advertising the roadworks on all channels for a number of weeks, advising motorists to allow extra time for their journeys or find an alternative route.
Motorists may wish to use alternative routes that best fit their needs or avoid the peak times of the day. The works have been programmed to avoid the busy summer period, and started once the schools have gone back and the Bournemouth Air Festival was complete. We are in contact with businesses, and directly with the Chamber of Trade and Commerce about working times and they have requested a break before and over Christmas which we are trying to build into the programme.
We are continuing to review all options to minimise the impact of the works on motorists. We apologise for any inconvenience caused during this time and thank motorists for their patience.
Bournemouth International Growth (BIG) Programme is a major economic growth plan focused on employment and development around Bournemouth Airport.
Preparation is underway for schemes set to open up opportunities around the A338.
The A338 improvements consist of two elements:
This is a very different scheme involving adding a third southbound lane towards Cooper Dean. This lane will allow extra time for traffic merging onto the A338 at Blackwater Junction. The previous scheme was a maintenance scheme and was north of Blackwater, whilst these works are south of Blackwater. If we had undertaken the works at the same time, it would have significantly increased the time taken, added to disruption and works would not have completed by the summer.
From 5 September 2018 for the next three weeks, we will be carrying out site investigation and survey work together with further vegetation clearance adjacent to the carriageway, which can only be undertaken with a lane closure. These are required to be undertaken during daylight hours for safety reasons. During this time, due to the nature of the works, it may appear that there are less operatives on site. However, we can assure the public that these required works are being carried out as quickly as possible and there are between 16 and 20 operatives on site at any one time.
As the works programme progresses, there will be the opportunity to implement longer working days over two shifts. However, due to safety requirements and proximity to neighbors, there will not be the opportunity for 24/7 working. At the current time, temporary traffic management measures are on the carriageway, but these will be replaced over the coming weeks with permanent measures that cannot be removed.
Once the main works start, excavations will be immediately adjacent and in the existing carriageway, and it will not be safe for road users, or the workforce, to open both lanes until works are completed. For the main works, a steel barrier will be installed to protect both the workforce and road users – this takes a long time to install and cannot be removed on a daily basis. At the current time, we are removing closures at weekends. When the barrier is in place this will not be possible.
This week we are completing works adjacent to the River Stour Bridge, which means we will be able to shorten the closures next week and start them after Blackwater Junction in the southbound direction. The proximity of Blackwater to these works prohibited us from doing this straight away – once the widening works start we will, however, have to take the closure back to its current position. During this time, the 40mph temporary speed limit will remain in place.
A lane closure will be in place until approximately June 2019. A contraflow is not planned until early Spring 2019.
We are continuing to review all options to minimise the impact of the works on motorists. The works are continually monitored on site by a traffic management contractor.
Activities are currently taking place in the verge immediately adjacent to the carriageway edge, which will extend into the carriageway once work starts on the bridge. Works are too close to the road to maintain two lanes and we will not compromise the safety of our workers. Detailed and careful consideration has been given to the traffic management, but unfortunately it is not possible to keep two lanes open.
Unfortunately, the closure has to start north of Blackwater, even though there are no works currently there. The slip road is too close to our works area to have lane closures start south of the slip and be in place before our works area.
We are in contact with and listening to businesses.
We are also directly in contact with Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce and Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry about working times and they have requested a break before and over Christmas which we are building into the programme.
We are aware these works will cause some delays and would advise motorists to allow extra time for their journeys or find an alternative route. Motorists can sign up to receive regular updates via the A338 travel blog.
Motorists may wish to use alternative routes that best fit their needs or avoid the peak times of the day. The works have been programmed to avoid the busy summer period, and started once the schools have gone back and the Bournemouth Air Festival was complete.
Detailed and careful consideration has been given to the traffic management, but unfortunately it is not possible to keep two lanes open. It is appreciated that the delays do have an adverse impact on the journey times.
Lane closures are currently in place 24 hours per day Monday to Friday. It is not possible to remove the traffic management measures on a daily basis as the traffic flows have to be reduced to a safe level before they can be taken in and put back out again, which takes 90 minutes. This would likely lead to a four hour window each day during which the required works could then take place. This would result in a much longer period for the traffic management measures to be out on the A338 overall.
We will be removing the temporary traffic management from 6am on Saturday 8 September through to 8pm on Sunday 9 September, as no work will be carried out on site. We are also aiming to remove these between Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 September and between Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 September too.
Currently, the lane closures are programmed to be removed between 10th December 2018 and 7th January 2019, although works may still be taking place on site.
The two schemes are very different. The A338 Major Maintenance scheme consisted predominantly of rebuilding the existing carriageway. These current works are related to the A338 Blackwater Junction improvement scheme and A338 widening scheme which involve the construction of a new additional lane requiring widening into the central reservation and verge; (this will also entail the construction of retaining structures and pier protection works to both the River Stour bridge and B3073 overbridge.
Dorset County Council are carrying out the works with their appointed contractor, supported by Bournemouth Borough Council.
Over £20 million of investment is helping fund a series of highway improvements along the A338 and B3073 corridors aimed at facilitating better access into and around Bournemouth Airport as well as unlocking employment land at Aviation Business Park and at Wessex Fields.
Work stars on 3 September 2018 on the A338 auxiliary lane. The works will see the southbound slip lane being extended as a third lane under the B3073 overbridge and over the River Stour Bridge. The extra lane will continue for approximately 700m to give additional space for traffic to safely merge back into 2 lanes.
Find out more about works coming this autumn.
Please find below the details for the work at Tuckton Roundabout.
The works at Cooper Dean traffic lights were ok last week but there were some delays this week with the schools back. This was particularly Castle Lane West to Cooper Dean. Other reports are of delays from the hospital side around 4.30/5.00pm . If you have any feedback re the Cooper Dean works please let me know as I regularly speak to their Traffic Manager.
If you have any questions regarding the agenda for 26th March, please let us know and Bill Riddle, Chairman of BCTC and Operations Director of Castlepoint will be able to ask on your behalf.
Plans to build a new link road and junction directly from the A338 to connect with the Wessex Fields business park will unlock a major employment site, and provide a second access to Royal Bournemouth Hospital.
Delivered as part of Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership’s Bournemouth International Growth (BIG) Programme the proposed scheme will improve the transport infrastructure in this part of the town by creating a new access from the A338.
Specific benefits of the proposed new link road and junction include:
Councillor Mike Greene, Bournemouth’s Cabinet Member responsible for Transport, said; “Wessex Fields is a major asset in Bournemouth already earmarked for employment. However, the existing road networks are congested, inadequate and are acting as a barrier to growth. Through additional government funding we have an opportunity to transform the transport infrastructure, by connecting the Wessex Fields business park and surrounding area to the A338.”
Councillor Philip Broadhead, Cabinet Member responsible for Economic Growth, said “There is strong demand for flexible business space in and around Bournemouth. Creating a modern business destination at Wessex Fields means we can make the most of the opportunities that this natural environment offers, and attract new businesses to Bournemouth which will lead to significant job opportunities for local people.”
Earlier this year residents and businesses attended a series of public roadshows where draft plans for the link road and junction were on display. The feedback received was generally positive with many businesses and the Royal Bournemouth Hospital showing support for the scheme.
Lorna Carver, director, Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, said; “We are looking forward to the submission of plans for the development of Wessex Fields business park. This vital employment site will open up major economic opportunities for Dorset, boosting our economy and potentially creating over 2,000 jobs. In addition, the proposed development will safeguard existing jobs, improve connectivity, encourage sustainable travel and provide a second access route into the Royal Bournemouth Hospital.”
Funding has been secured via Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership for phase 1 of the proposed scheme which includes a new link directly to and from the southbound A338 Wessex Way linking to Wessex Fields business park, the Royal Bournemouth Hospital and existing businesses on Deansleigh Road and the surrounding area.
Edwin Davies, Associate Director of Estates, Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said; “The Trust fully supports the creation of the new junction from the A338. It will significantly improve entrance and exit from the site, which will be increasingly important as the Trust develops its services in line with the recent Clinical Services Review. The sporadic delays for our patients, visitors and staff to entering and leaving our site, particularly at peak times in the afternoon, will be reduced. It is also essential that with new employment opportunities being developed on Wessex Fields that the highway network can cope and is resilient. The new junction will go a long to providing this resilience.”
A planning application for the new link road and junction is due to be submitted in December 2017. If approved construction of phase 1 is expected to start in Spring 2019, and be completed by Spring 2021.