Transforming Travel's Leigh Road and Wimborne Road West cycleway scheme
The Transforming Cities Fund
In March 2020, Dorset Council and BCP Council were awarded £79m by the government under their Transforming Cities Fund (TCF) scheme. Dorset Council and BCP Council were one of only 12 city regions in England to secure a share of this funding. The TCF aims to improve productivity and prosperity through investment in public and sustainable transport in some of the largest English city regions. You can find out more about that here.
As part of the TCF investment, Dorset Council will be building 2.3km of new cycle and walking improvements along Leigh Road and Wimborne Road West in Wimborne and Colehill, between Brook Road and Canford Bottom Roundabout. Full details about the improvements being made are detailed here.
This is the first project under the £100m + TCF funded programme, which itself will be the largest ever investment in sustainable transport infrastructure in the south east Dorset city region.
Work is now underway on the first two sections of this project:
- 400m section from Canford Bottom Roundabout to Stapehill Crescent, which is scheduled to take place from 18 January to end of February
During this work, the road will be open, but a temporary traffic-light controlled contraflow will be in place.
- 400m section between Fernway Crescent and Summerfield Close, which will take place from 18 January to end of February
Again, a contraflow will be in place with traffic flow controlled by Stop/Go boards
- A further element of the work taking place is the reduction of the speed limit from 40mph to 30mph along the whole length of Leigh Road and Wimborne Road West which will be in force from 18 January
Information about the schedule of works along Leigh Road/Wimborne Road West are given here. However, if you have specific questions about this project, you can contact the Dorset Council Transforming Travel project team.
We anticipate the scheme to complete towards the end of 2021.
These improvements aim to make this area a cleaner, greener, healthier place to live, work, and visit. The scheme aims to reduce traffic by providing safe alternatives to the car and improve the user experience for everyone.
Sustainable transport link
The B3073 Leigh Road was previously part of the strategic east/west route across Dorset before the A31 was built. This project aims to create more of a neighbourhood community road rather than the feel of a trunk road and will help residents to enjoy the area more on foot or other means such as bike, scooters, mobility scooters and wheelchairs.
This scheme will provide a safe, sustainable transport link between residential areas, employment (such as Ferndown Industrial Estate), leisure facilities and schools, as well as linking to proposed new developments and community facilities in Wimborne. Currently, people choosing to ride a bike have to travel on the busy road – which carries around 12,600 vehicles a day – or are being forced to use the pavements.
It will link with existing National Cycle Networks (via the Castleman Trailway) and further proposed schemes on Wimborne Road West and East, Ham Lane and beyond to provide a continuous, attractive network for people on bikes to key destinations.
The cycleways will be on both the north and south side of Leigh Road/Wimborne Road West from Brook Road to Canford Bottom Roundabout, a distance of 2.3km.
The speed limit will be reduced to 30mph from 18 January to improve safety for everyone and reduce noise levels. We are taking advantage of all opportunities to increase greenspace within the scheme to improve the streetscape.
Providing a dedicated space for cycling will improve conditions for both cyclists and pedestrians, who will benefit from an enhanced footway width and new surface (in places).
New parallel crossings
Two new parallel crossings on Leigh Road form part of the scheme. The design of these are a first for Dorset highways. They are essentially zebra crossings with an additional area for bikes to safely cross the road without delaying drivers longer than necessary. This avoids long waiting times associated with signalised crossings.
‘Activation Project’ – paths for everyone
In 2018, Leigh Road was included as an ‘Activation Project’ in the Paths for Everyone report published later that year. As a result of this, funding was secured through Sustrans to deliver improvements for people wanting to ride bikes along the National Cycle Network at Leigh Road.
Subsequently, TCF emerged and the scheme was identified as a critical link in local cycle infrastructure for commuters as well as people using the National Cycle Network, and it became part of one of the TCF corridors. The additional funding has enabled a better scheme to be designed, with the higher standards expected for cycle schemes as recently further reinforced by the release of Gear Change and new design standards.
Location of works
See the location of works from Canford Bottom roundabout to Hayes Lane, and from Hayes Lane to Brook Road. To view in large, select an image:
Schedule of Works
In order to speed up the work and minimise disruption, separate road gangs will be working on 400m sections at different locations along the route. Businesses and residents located directly alongside the works will receive notification letters two weeks before we move to the construction section their property is within. Below is the current sequence of works; dates will be updated once each section gets underway:
- Canford Bottom Roundabout to Stapehill Crescent east (under construction). Planned to complete late February
- Fernway Crescent and Summerfield Close (under construction). Planned to complete late February
- Parmiter Road to West of Brook Road Junction (next construction phase). Planned to start mid-February
- Stapehill Crescent east to Stapehill Cresent west
- Summer Field Close to Park Farm Cottages
- Northleigh Lane to West of Brook Road Junction
- Stapehill Crescent to opposite Fernway Close
- Hayes Lane to opposite Quaterjack Park Development
- Henbest Close to Old Ham Lane
- Opposite Quaterjack Park Development to Bytheway Field
- Old Ham Lane to Fernway Close
- Bytheway Field to Northleigh Lane
- Opposite Fernway Close to Hayes Lane
- Park Farm Cottage to opposite Bytheway Field
Respecting the natural environment
The design of the scheme has taken into account the local natural environment.
In building the cycleway, some of the existing verge currently designated as Common Land will be de-registered. A compensatory area of open space at BytheWay Field will be designated as Common Land in its place. The effect of this will be to maintain the existing stock of Common Land.
Where there is registered common land, ecological surveys have shown that the mown verges to the south of the road have limited value in terms of plant species or habitat. The scheme has been designed to minimise impact on the more ecologically valuable land on the north side of the road by using more of the lower value land on the south side.
In developing the designs, additional green space and planting have been introduced, including for new trees. What is currently a vehicle dominated road will be enhanced by streetscape improvements.
HGV lorries will be able to use the route whilst works are taking place. We don’t foresee any major interruptions to their journey.
There may be affected bus stop locations throughout the works. Our engineers will liaise with any affected bus companies. Check if there are any route disruptions on Traveline.
Additional artist's impressions
In 2019, SUSTRANS held a meeting at Wimborne Town Council offices attended by members and representatives from key local groups, to discuss a proposed cycleway. In July 2019, several pop-up consultation stands were set up adjacent to some of the local schools at drop-off and pick-up time, in Wimborne Town Square and at the car park adjacent to By-the-Way Field.
A leaflet was posted to local residents, with full details of the scheme in November 2020.