Bournemouth Council’s plans to build a new link road and junction directly from the A338 to connect with the Wessex Fields business park and improve access to Royal Bournemouth Hospital have been well received by business leaders and the Trust.
Delivered as part of the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership’s Bournemouth International Growth (BIG) programme the proposed scheme will enable people to access employment opportunities at Wessex Fields, and provide a second route into the Royal Bournemouth Hospital.
Wessex Fields is one of two major economic employment sites in Bournemouth. The proposed link road and junction will unlock this area of land for development and create over 2,000 new jobs.
Councillor Mike Greene, Bournemouth’s Cabinet Member responsible for Transport, said; “Wessex Fields is a significant asset in Bournemouth and the area is already earmarked for economic development. However, the existing road networks are congested, inadequate and are acting as a barrier to growth.
“Through this additional government funding we have an opportunity to transform the transport infrastructure in this part of the town and enable Wessex Fields to reach its full economic potential, creating more jobs for the future.
“As part of the public exhibitions held earlier this year we received positive feedback from residents and businesses on the draft designs for the new link road and junction.
“We will continue to engage with key stakeholders as we progress the plans ahead of submitting the planning application later this year. As part of the planning process all residents will have the opportunity to have their say.”
In addition to creating new jobs and providing a second access to the hospital, the new link road and junction will also retain existing jobs, reduce congestion on Castle Lane East, improve sustainable travel options and reduce road casualties in the area.
RBCH Estates Manager, Edwin Davies, said; “The Trust fully supports the Council in this project and welcomes the benefits a new junction on the A338 would bring. It would significantly improve vehicle access to the Royal Bournemouth Hospital (RBH), ensuring our patients, visitors and hardworking staff would not have to endure delays accessing or leaving the site, particularly during peak periods in the afternoon. The junction would also help to alleviate congestion that occurs on the RBH site sporadically as a result of road works and traffic incidents on the main roads around the hospital.”
Earlier this year residents and businesses attended a series of roadshows where draft plans for the link road and junction were on display. Feedback was well received with many businesses showing support for the scheme.
Gordon Page, Chairman of Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, said; “The Wessex Fields business park, along with the adjacent Chaseside business area, is a vital employment site in Dorset, home to 10,000 jobs. However, poor access from Castle Lane East and traffic congestion are impacting upon businesses and currently hindering development and growth.
“Building a new link road from the A338 to Wessex Fields will provide a significant economic boost to the area, by unlocking new employment land with the potential to create over 2,000 new jobs. In addition, the road will safeguard existing jobs, address congestion, improve connectivity, encourage sustainable travel, reduce road casualties and provide a second access route into the Royal Bournemouth Hospital.”
A planning application for the new link road and junction is expected to be submitted in August 2017. If approved, construction will begin in Spring 2019.