£11.7 million improvements at Townside reaches key stage

The final scheme benefitting from the £23.3 million investment in Poole’s infrastructure funded by Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership through the Dorset Growth Deal, reaches the next key stage.

From Monday 8 October 2018, Mildren Construction will start reconfiguring Hunger Hill junction to improve its efficiency as well as the provision of more direct and safer crossings for pedestrians and cyclists. This work will include:

  • Carriageway realignment of a live junction
  • Construction of wide shared use footways and crossings
  • Ducting, signalling and street lighting works
  • New highway drainage
  • Carriageway surfacing, line marking and signage

These improvements support the future expansion of the Port of Poole, as well as the development anticipated in Hamworthy and West Quay Road areas creating new homes, leisure opportunities and a vibrant economy for local people.

The Townside Scheme covers the area between Hunger Hill and Poole Bridge, including West Street and West Quay Road. It is anticipated that the main works at Hunger Hill will take around nine months to complete. Initially work will start by Asda and West Quay Road with the removal of the central reserve and traffic islands.

The majority of traffic lanes will remain open during peak hours (7.30am to 9am and 4.30pm to 6pm), with no full road closures taking place on the main routes. During off peak hours a minimum of one lane will be open to traffic in the area where the contractor is working.

In addition, the period from 10 December to 24 December will be treated as ‘peak hours’ all day, every day. No work will be carried out between 24 December and 7 January 2019 ensuring local residents and visitors can take full advantage of the Christmas sales.

The contractor will also carry out certain activities overnight in order to speed up delivery of the works, further reducing impact on traffic and ensuring safety of the workforce and travelling public. Noisy activities will be kept to a minimum during night working. Local residents and businesses will be advised in advance of the night working taking place.

The direction of traffic on West Street (towards the bridges only) and West Quay Road (towards Hunger Hill only) will also change in the New Year – arrangements to be announced nearer the time.

This is a major infrastructure project and despite all our efforts some disruption is likely. Throughout the works motorists are advised to plan ahead, use alternative forms of transport where possible and allow more time for their journeys.

Julian McLaughlin, added: “We appreciate these works will inevitably cause some unavoidable disruption to road users and we have taken every opportunity to minimise the impact this will have on people. We will continually monitor the traffic flow to see whether any adjustments can be made to the works programme whilst ensuring the works remain on schedule. We have already made some adjustments leading up to the Christmas period to ensure local residents and visitors can make the most of the Christmas festivities and shopping in Poole. We will once again be offering the popular Christmas park and ride service and free parking in town centre car parks.

“In the meantime we would encourage drivers to start thinking about the steps they can take including allowing extra time for their journeys or using alternative routes. We fully understand that this may not be possible for everyone. We apologise for any inconvenience these improvement works may cause.”

Possible steps to help ease the impact on drivers include:

  • Using alternative means of travel such as walking and cycling
  • Starting your journey earlier or later than usual to avoid peak rush hour
  • Considering car sharing. You can find your car share partner with carsharedorset.com, a free website linking drivers

Wider improvements in the Townside area will continue until 2020 and will involve the completion of the links for pedestrians, cyclists and other road users from Hunger Hill to Poole Bridge. Improvements to public spaces to enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors to the area will also take place during this time. These works will be based on the feedback received from residents during last year’s detailed public consultation.

The £11.7 million scheme of major road improvements at Townside, has already seen:

  • A new signalised junction at Sterte Avenue West allowing traffic to turn right onto Holes Bay A350, without needing to use the Hunger Hill junction
  • Enabling works carried out at Marston Road to enable the direction of traffic to change from one-way to two-way next year
  • Works continuing on the West Street/New Orchard junction to realign the kerbs to provide wider footways and cycleways that will eventually run the length of West Street and West Quay Road

Two bans on turns are in place to enable preparatory works on the Hunger Hill roundabout to be carried out. These are a left hand turn ban for all vehicles from Hunger Hill roundabout to West Quay Road and a right hand turn ban for all vehicles from Hunger Hill roundabout to Towngate Bridge

Cllr Ian Potter, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Transportation, Borough of Poole, said: “The Council has ambitious plans to revitalise the centre of Poole and this multi million pound investment in the town’s infrastructure is a significant step towards helping us achieve this vision.”

Lorna Carver, Director Dorset LEP said: “The Port of Poole and surrounding area is a key growth priority for Dorset. The start of these works marks the final and largest phase of this major programme into improving access into and around the port. Unfortunately, due to the large scale of these infrastructure improvements we regret that there will be some disruption for commuters and we ask people to please plan ahead and review the information available. This really is an exciting development for the town which stands to benefit massively from this multi-million pound investment through the provision of thousands of new jobs and homes, improved public spaces, and safer routes for pedestrians and cyclists.”

To keep up to date on the progress of these improvements you can visit poole.gov.uk/townside or www.hungerhill.today, subscribe to receive the regular Travel and roads e-newsletter by clicking on the ‘email me’ sign up button at poole.gov.uk or follow Borough of Poole on Facebook and Twitter (#Townside, #WestQuayRoad and #WestStreet).

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