£12.1Million To Improve Transport Links In Dorset

The South West of England will benefit from seven carbon-cutting, growth boosting local transport schemes after £26 million of government funding was given the green light today by Transport Minister Norman Baker.

The projects have won funding as part of the second allocation from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund. 

The projects are among 30 successful bids receiving funding across England. All projects are designed to create a sustainable transport package that delivers economic growth.

The successful schemes in the South West are focused on making it easier for people to access work and school by walking, cycling or using public transport. The schemes also aim to facilitate sustainable tourism by providing tourists with a greater choice of transport options.

Norman Baker said:

"The schemes we are funding will benefit those living in the South West by cutting carbon emissions, reducing congestion and stimulating economic growth in the area.

"By investing in these schemes we are signalling our commitment to green growth which will help to kick-start economic activity in the region while improving access to healthier forms of transport and addressing the problem of climate change."

On May 24th 2012 it was announced that these projects would get funding:

- BE SMArT Bournemouth will get £4.6 million for a package of measures to encourage cycling and walking in the town.- Central and East Cornwall Sustainable Transport Network will receive £2.3 million to create a sustainable and high quality bus network to encourage greater patronage and reduce congestion.

- Weymouth - Dorchester Corridor will receive £2.4 million to support greater use of walking, cycling and public transport in the area. Measures include a new Weymouth-Dorchester express bus service and expansion of local car clubs.


Now the total amount of funding which will be provided by the Government to Dorset will be £12.1million - to be spent on improving the main east-west transport links between Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch.

Led by Bournemouth Borough Council, the three neighbouring authorities joined together in submitting a business case which includes a host of projects designed to encourage more sustainable travel in the ‘3 towns corridor’.

Specific initiatives due to be rolled out over the next three years include:

•        Bus priority measures at junctions

•        Improvements to the cycle network

•        Upgrading of all bus shelters along the route to a consistent high quality

•        Improvement of major bus hubs (including Sea View - Poole, Boscombe Bus Station, Somerford - Christchurch)

•        More crossing facilities for pedestrians and cyclists

•        Expansion of Smartcard ticketing for public transport

•        Targeted travel planning for major employers, schools and colleges

•        'State of the art' traffic management systems

•        Public realm improvements

The three councils were in competition with twelve other local authorities for the central government funding. 

Cllr Michael Filer, Bournemouth Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, Cleansing & Waste, said;

“We are absolutely delighted to have this funding in place, £12.1million is a lot of money and it allows the three councils to produce a package of measures across Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch which will help to make the cross town journey quicker and safer.

“Equally important it shows that the three towns are working closely together for the benefit of all their residents as well as the millions of visitors who wish to use the attractions of the whole area.  For example we want to improve walking and cycling facilities, improve the public transport service by supporting our partners to provide a more efficient and enhanced service, as well as improve traffic management across the conurbation – all of which will help encourage people to travel smarter.”

Cllr Xena Dion, Cabinet Portfolio holder for Transportation and Local Economy, Borough of Poole, said;

“Winning the bid for this money is a real success for all three local authorities as it reflects the government's confidence in the area's potential for growth.  We hope this will also serve to attract more businesses into the area. Investment in new and improved bus, cycle and walking infrastructure should lead to faster and more reliable journeys including peak times for workers.  We hope to encourage more and more people to use these more sustainable modes of transport and leave their cars at home.”

Cllr Peter Finney, Dorset County Council’s Portfolio holder for Transport, said;

 “This is more excellent news for sustainable transport in Dorset and another great opportunity to help local business and help us to improve the environment.  Working with local partners, and with local people and communities, we will be doing all we can to make travelling sustainably in Christchurch the natural choice for as many people as possible.”

Gordon Page, Chair of the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, said;

 “We are delighted the government has taken the decision to invest in Dorset’s transport links. Improving Dorset’s electronic and physical connectivity is a key priority for the Dorset LEP and we fully support initiatives such as the 3 Towns Corridor which will enhance Dorset as a place to do business.”