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Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership's £23.3 million cash injection into Port of Poole

Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has unveiled details of how £23.3 million (secured as part of the Dorset Growth Deal*1), will be invested into four major transport schemes to improve access into and around the Port of Poole. The initiative will help boost economic growth and bring an anticipated £500 million of leveraged private investment in to the area. The four schemes will be delivered by the Borough of Poole and include: 

•    A £4.3 million investment into the A349 (the main link road into the Port of Poole and the town centre from the A31) at Gravel Hill. Scheduled to start in July 2016, work covers: 

     o    Stabilising and strengthening embankments 

     o    Increasing capacity for motor vehicles at the Queen Anne junction 

     o    Improving facilities for pedestrians and cyclists 

•   £2 million improvements at Dunyeats junction including improvements for pedestrians and cyclists - starting in May 2016 

•   New ‘approach spans’ for Poole Bridge (which carry the traffic from the land to the main section of the bridge). Starting in September 2016 this £4.2 million superstructure replacement will ensure the bridge continues to offer a vital route into the port: 

     o    Carriageway widened to 6.5 metres 

     o    Conversion of footpath into a 2.5-metre-wide shared footway/cycleway 

     o    Extension of shared footway/cycleway along the lifting spans 

•   £13 million worth of major access improvements to the Port of Poole on the town side of the Backwater Channel and new development sites. Initial work started in April 2016 with the bulk of the work taking place in 2017/2018. 

     o    Improvements to a number of key junctions including redevelopment of Hunger Hill 

     o    Improvements to public transport 

     o    Improvements to cycling and pedestrian facilities 

     o    Development of the regeneration area 

Gordon Page, Chairman of Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership said: “This multi-million-pound investment into the Port of Poole’s transport infrastructure will not only safeguard important road and bridge routes but will also unlock economic growth into the region. Improving the Port of Poole’s infrastructure will secure industrial, maritime, residential and visitor growth and deliver significant long-term employment, housing and economic benefits.” 

Cllr Drew Mellor, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Borough of Poole, said: “We are fully committed to ensuring that the A349 remains a safe and reliable route to the Port of Poole. Over the next few years we will see significant investment in this main transport route that will ultimately provide considerable benefits to our residents and businesses alike.” 

Julian McLaughlin, Head of Transportation Services, including Property Services, Borough of Poole, said: “We appreciate that the closure of Gravel Hill and Poole Bridge for any length of time will cause significant disruption to road users. Minimising this inconvenience and congestion on neighbouring roads is a high priority for us and various temporary arrangements shall be put in place to help us achieve this. We will monitor the impact of these vital works throughout the programme and will look to make any further adjustments where necessary.” 

Full details of the temporary arrangements to help alleviate inconvenience during the works will be available on www.poole.gov.uk/dorsetgrowthdeal