FINAL designs for the four “cycle corridors” funded through the £100 million Transforming Cities programme have been published.

A consultation has been launched on the routes, which link Bournemouth with Ferndown, and Christchurch and Poole with Merley and Wareham Road.

Upgrades will include several new segregated cycle ways and shared-use paths. BCP Council’s cabinet member for transport said the work would “make a real difference” to how people travel.

Bournemouth Echo: A CGI of the proposed shared path through Kings Park in Bournemouth

A CGI of the proposed shared path through Kings Park in Bournemouth

The scheme, dubbed Transforming Travel, is funded mostly through £79 million awarded by the government as part of its Transforming Cities Fund to improve the south-east Dorset transport network.

A business case submitted as part of the bid said the projects were “high value for money” and would reduce congestion in a region TomTom ranked the fourth-worst in the country.

Data included in the document estimates these delays cost the area’s economy about £270 million a year.

And it warned that “without addressing local transport network problems” growth in the region would be “stifled”.

More than £20 million has been raised from other sources, including both BCP Council and Dorset Council, bus companies and shared bike service operator Beryl, to take the total budget to £102 million.

The consultation will run until the end of March and covers the four cycle corridors which are expected to cost just over £30 million in total.

The first will link Bournemouth railway station to Jumpers Common in Christchurch, via Boscombe and Royal Bournemouth Hospital. This route will include:

  • New crossings, shared paths and junction changes on Holdenhurst Road,
  • traffic calming measures on Windham Road,
  • a shared path through Kings Park and the removal of non-disabled parking spaces at the Ashley Road entrance,
  • an extension of the 20mph zone at the Harewood Avenue roundabout,
  • new crossings and a protected two-way cycle lane along Chaseside,
  • the upgrade of the Riverside Avenue junction,
  • a shared path on the north-east side of Castle Lane East and protected cycle space on the opposite side,
  • and an upgrade of the footpath off Riverside Avenue to a shared path which crosses the existing bridge to join Stour Way.

The second connects Bournemouth town centre and Ferndown, via the airport. This project amounts to half of the total cost for all four projects and will include:

  • Widening of the shared path in the Upper Gardens,
  • new shared paths, junction upgrades and crossings on Prince of Wales Road and Queens Road,
  • planting on Leven Avenue to restrict vehicles’ access between Glenferness Avenue and Branksome Wood Road,
  • a new crossing and protected cycleways on Glenferness Avenue. The eastern side of the railway bridge on it will be widened and a new bridge built on the opposite side to facilitate this,
  • planting to remove access for vehicles at the junction of Elgin Road and Glenferness Avenue,
  • protected cycleways on Wallisdown Road and Boundary Road, with parking removed at the northern end of the latter,
  • a reduction in the speed limit on Boundary Road to 30mph,
  • an upgrade to cycle and pedestrian routes around the Ensbury Park gyratory,
  • a segregated cycle way and new crossings on Redhill Avenue,
  • a reduction of the speed limit on Redhill Avenue to 30mph,
  • upgrades to cyclist and pedestrian routes around Redhill Roundabout,
  • protected cycleways on Whitelegg Way and the reduction of its speed limit to 30mph,
  • a ban on left turns from Wimborne Road onto Whitelegg Way to reduce congestion,
  • and surfacing and widening of the bridleways off Chapel Lane and Thames Close.

Bournemouth Echo: A CGI of the proposed segregated cycle lanes along Whitelegg Way in Bournemouth

A CGI of the segregated cycle lanes in Whitelegg Way

Plans for a new bridge over the River Stour are also being considered but have yet to be finalised.

The section around Whitelegg Way would also become a part of the future Merley to Christchurch "sustainable travel route".

The third route links Poole town centre to Wareham Road at the Sherford River through Hamworthy. It includes:

  • Segregation of the existing cycle lanes on Rigler Road,
  • a new shared path near Eccles Road,
  • a 20mph zone on Blandford Road,
  • upgrades to crossing and a new shared path near Carter Community School,
  • planting to block through traffic on Woodlands Avenue while keeping access for pedestrians and cyclists,
  • a new crossing and path widening at the junction of Inglesham Way and Blandford Road,
  • a redesign of the junction of Blandford Road and Dawkins Road with new traffic lights,
  • a two-way cycle lane on Blandford Road between this junction and the Symes Road connection,
  • new crossing near Sandy Lane,
  • And the upgrade of the footpath near, and a bridge across, the Sherford River into a shared path.

The fourth route links Poole town centre with Merley. It includes:

  • New crossings at the Wimborne Road/Denmark Lane/Serpentine Road roundabout,
  • segregation of the existing cycle lane on Wimborne Road between the roundabout and Heckford Road,
  • new crossings and a new two-way protected cycle way on Wimborne Road with parking removed from its western side,
  • the removal of access to through traffic between Wimborne Road and Stokes Avenue,
  • upgrades to the New Inn junction,
  • improvements to the shared path to Trigon Bridge,
  • a new two-way shared path on Harwell Road between the bridge and Darbys Lane North. New parking restrictions would be introduced to make space for this,
  • a new crossing on Canford Heath Road,
  • and improvements to the paths at Gravel Hill.

The permanent retention of the closure between Darbys Lane and Wimborne Road is also being considered as part of this route.

Bournemouth Echo: A CGI of the proposed segregated two-way cycle way on Wimborne Road in Poole

A CGI of the proposed segregated two-way cycle way on Wimborne Road in Poole

A consultation will be launched on the two “sustainable travel routes” – one linking Poole town centre with Ferndown and Wimborne and the other connecting Merley with Christchurch – once this one ends.

“These sustainable travel routes will make a real difference to how people are able to get around locally,” Councillor Mike Greene, BCP Council’s cabinet member for transport, said. “Walking, cycling and travelling by bus will become much more appealing, encouraging greener and healthier journeys – good news for both our economy and planet.”

A requirement of the government funding is that all work is completed within the next two years. It is due to start in the middle of this year.