Initial work on a £12.8 million scheme of major road improvements to the Townside area in Poole starts on Monday 26 March.
The Townside scheme, funded by Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership through the Dorset Growth Deal, covers the area between Hunger Hill and Poole Bridge, including West Street and West Quay Road. The work forms part of a wider £23.3 million Local Growth Fund programme to improve access into and around the Port of Poole.
This first phase of work focuses on the junctions either end of Marston Road and will include installation of new kerbs, preparations for potential new traffic, plus alterations and resurfacing of the footpaths and roads.
Work will start on Monday 26 March at the junction of Marston Road and West Quay Road. Further work at the junction of Marston Road and West Street will take place in a few weeks’ time.
Work will take place Monday to Friday, with as much work as possible taking place within off-peak hours to reduce the impact on traffic. The two junctions will take approximately three months to complete. During this period, some of the thirteen two-hour parking spaces on Marston Road may be unavailable for use at times.
Julian McLaughlin, Head of Growth and Infrastructure, Borough of Poole, said: “These improvements complement the works nearing completion at Sterte Avenue West to deliver a new signalised junction which will allow traffic to turn right onto Holes Bay without needing to use the Hunger Hill junction.
“They will also pave the way for Marston Road to become two-way traffic when Hunger Hill roundabout is reconfigured to become a junction later this year. This will allow effective circulation of traffic between West Street and West Quay Road, which was designed into the original construction of the road in 2011.
“During the preparatory works there may be some noise and disruption but this will be kept to a minimum wherever possible. We anticipate there will be minimal impact on road users and access to all properties will be maintained. We apologise for any inconvenience these works may cause.”
The three-year scheme aims to improve access from the Port to the town centre, improve the Hunger Hill junction to make it easier to navigate and improve public spaces making it a more pleasant environment for residents and visitors to the area.
The improvement works at Marston Road will be followed by the Hunger Hill works starting towards the end of the year. Phase two of the works involves the reconfiguration of the Hunger Hill junction to improve its efficiency as well as the provision of more direct and safer crossings for pedestrians and cyclists. The direction of traffic on West Street (towards the bridges only) and West Quay Road (towards Hunger Hill only) will also change.
Phase three will commence during 2019 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 in the Townside area enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors to the area will also take place. These works will be based on the feedback received from residents during last year’s detailed public consultation. This is proving to be valuable in progressing the design work that embodies the maritime heritage theme which is so important to local people.
Cllr Ian Potter, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Planning, Regeneration and 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 piece in a jigsaw that will help us achieve this vision.
“These improvements not only support the future expansion of the Port of Poole, but the redevelopment of sites along West Street and West Quay Road creating new homes, leisure opportunities and a vibrant economy for local people.”
Lorna Carver, Director of Dorset LEP said: “The Port of Poole and surrounding area is an important business region in Dorset and one of the county’s key assets. Dorset LEP is pleased to have secured £23.3 million from the Local Growth Fund to help fund major access improvements to the area which will help drive local economic growth and bring an anticipated £500 million of leveraged private investment in to the area.”