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 the government's Transforming Cities Fund. 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, Dorset Council will be building a cycleway along Leigh Road and Wimborne Road West in Wimborne, between Brook Road and Canford Bottom Roundabout.
Works are due to start from 18 January 2021. Local residents and businesses will receive a letter informing them of the start of the works.
We anticipate the scheme to complete towards the end of 2021. Construction of the scheme will operate in sections up to 400m long.
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:
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.