Second Phase of BIG Programme Announced in Dorset

Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership has announced plans for the next tranche of major transport schemes that will form part of the Bournemouth International Growth Programme. 

Over £20 million of investment will help 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.

  • Blackwater Junction (located on the A338 / B3073 intersection). This scheme will alleviate congestion and improve access to and from Bournemouth Airport.  The works at Blackwater will include re-configuring the east and west junctions on the B3073 along with the construction of additional approach lanes. The slip roads off and on to the A338 will also be improved. The main contract works are programmed to commence in September 2017 with initial site clearance, required to enable detailed survey work, due to start on site at the beginning of October 2016.
  • Hurn Roundabout (east of Bournemouth Airport on the B3073). This heavily used and often congested junction is being reconfigured to further help improve access to the airport and Aviation Business Park. The scheme, which is being funded by Dorset County Council, provides a relocated roundabout to the east of its current site and includes the realignment of Parley Lane and the Avon Causeway.  The Christchurch Road section will also be re-orientated and the Matchams Lane junction moved.  Works are due to start in September 2017.
  • The Wessex Fields Junction on the A338 offers improved connectivity to the wider transport network, opening up the future opportunity for the development of designated employment land at Wessex Fields. This will also provide a second access road to the Royal Bournemouth General Hospital and potentially to existing businesses on the Wessex Fields business park. Preliminary design and site investigation surveys and assessments are currently taking place. The current provisional start date for construction of the works is Spring 2019.
  • A number of road infrastructure improvements on the B3073 at Chapel Gate and Parley Cross are also being investigated. Design options are currently under review to ensure that the best solution is selected for this congested transport corridor. It is anticipated that various improvements will be implemented from mid-2017.

The above schemes form part of the £45.2 million secured by Dorset LEP through the Dorset Growth Deal for the BIG Programme, an ambitious major economic growth plan focused on boosting employment and development around Bournemouth Airport and Wessex Fields.  The BIG Programme’s first major transport scheme – the £22 million major renewal of the A338 Bournemouth Spur Road between Ashley Heath and Blackwater – was successfully completed under budget in May 2016.

Gordon Page, chairman of Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership said:

“The BIG Programme’s latest infrastructure investments tackle key pinch points on the A338 and B3073 which will improve journeys to Bournemouth Airport and Wessex Fields and help create up to 10,000 jobs over the next ten years.  Alongside the major works around the Port of Poole, these infrastructure investments are essential and long overdue – existing key link roads and transport networks are congested, inadequate and suppressing growth.

“Dorset LEP has a window of opportunity to access central Government funds to address infrastructure problems, in partnership with our local authorities, to not only fix near-term issues but also to secure reasonable connectivity to cater for planned future economic growth in the area.

“It is reassuring to see that plans for the BIG Programme’s next phase of transport improvement projects are well under way.  Our priority is to deliver schemes which offer best value and keep driver disruption and impact on business to a minimum.  Collectively they will alleviate traffic congestion, transform accessibility and drive economic growth in Dorset.”

Bournemouth Borough Council is leading on the delivery of the A338 schemes working jointly with Dorset County Council on the infrastructure improvements at Blackwater Junction and Wessex Fields.

Dorset County Council is delivering the improvements at Hurn Roundabout, Chapel Gate and Parley Cross.