640 men were killed when the South African troop carrier was hit by a cargo ship in 1917.
£410,000 Makeover For Wimborne Underway
Work on the much-anticipated Wimborne Square enhancement scheme begins on 9 January, 2012.
The £410,000 makeover of The Square is being financed by East Dorset District Council with support from Waitrose, Dorset County Council and Wimborne Minster Town Council.
The works will improve The Square's appearance and make it more welcoming by creating a new, attractive pedestrian space where people can meet, sit and relax.
The scheme will involve moving bus stops and taxi ranks, adding extra loading bays and changing the existing traffic flow. The width of the footways will be increased and safer pedestrian crossing points created. Works are being carried out by Dorset Highways, on behalf of the Council.
In order to minimise disruption to residents, traders and visitors to the town, the work will be carried out in nine different phases.
These are explained in a booklet that East Dorset District Council has created and can be downloaded from its website -www.dorsetforyou.com/wimbornesquare
The booklet, which is also available as a hard-copy from Wimborne Tourist Information Centre, details the temporary road closures that will be necessary to carry out the works.
The original phasing plan has recently been revised to overcome concerns about simultaneous road closures with the Canford Bottom roundabout improvements.
Pedestrian access will be maintained to all properties throughout the duration of the works; however, a number of private off-street parking places will not be accessible during some of the road closures. Those residents affected have been offered free use of the Council's long-stay car parks whilst access is affected.
It is intended that the works will be complete by the end of May 2012, in time for Wimborne Folk Festival which is scheduled to be held from 8 to 10 June.
Leader of East Dorset District Council, Cllr Spencer Flower, said:
"The Council has long held the ambition of enhancing the centre of Wimborne, with particular focus on The Square.
"We will work closely with the local community in order to carry out the construction in a sensitive and considerate way, creating a new, attractive centrepiece for the town.
"I am confident that local businesses, residents and visitors will consider the enhancement of The Square befitting the historic importance of Wimborne."
Residents can keep up-to-date with how the work is progressing by visiting: www.twitter.com/wimbornesquare
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