Although to the frustration of motorists works are continuing on Leigh Road/Wimborne Road West, the second section from the western entrance of Stapehill Crescent to just east of the entrance to the new Quarter Jack Park development has now been completed.
The project includes the construction of two new parallel crossings with dedicated space for both pedestrians and cyclists – some of the first of this design in the Dorset Council area. One crossing is located west of the Old Ham Lane junction and the other west of the Hayes Lane Junction.
The two new crossings are similar to zebra crossings, but with an additional lane running parallel to the ‘zebra stripes’. The crossings enable cyclists to cross the road with the same level of priority as a zebra crossing gives to a pedestrian. They are not controlled by traffic lights but have the traditional orange flashing belisha beacon like a zebra crossing. This means that they will not delay drivers any longer than necessary when the crossings are used.
The project also includes the continued two-way cycle lane on the north side of the road up to the new parallel crossing to the west of Old Ham Lane. The cycle lane then splits into separate one-way east and west bound lanes on the north and south sides of the road, which will eventually continue to the junction of Brook Road with Leigh Road, once the whole scheme has been completed. White lines and signs on these new lanes will also be added soon.
Dorset Council has also re-surfaced the road and re-painted the road markings along this whole section.
Construction of the third and final section of the route is now underway and runs from west of the entrance of the Quarter Jack Park development, past the entrance to By-The-Way Field and up to the new signal-controlled Brook Road junction.
This final phase will complete the new cycle lanes and pedestrian footpaths on both sides of Leigh Road, up to the Brook Road junction. It will also include the re-surfacing of the whole road as per the previous sections. This will mean that the whole length of Wimborne Road West and Leigh Road from Canford Bottom to Brook Road will then have been resurfaced with any surface damage fully repaired.
It is expected that this final section will be completed in the New Year.
The works on Leigh Road and Wimborne Road West form part of the 27km sustainable travel route that will eventually link Ferndown and Wimborne with Poole town centre. Work has already started on new cycle, walking and bus improvements along Ringwood Road in Ferndown, which also forms part of this green travel route.
The improvements are largely funded through a central government grant of £79m, supplemented by further money raised from the councils, local transport and business organisations, which gives a total budget of over £102m. The south east Dorset Transforming Cities Fund1, is a joint project between Dorset Council and BCP Council.
Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for Highways, Travel and Environment said: “The two new crossings are a particular bonus as I have received much feedback from local residents saying that this road can be particularly difficult and dangerous to cross, particularly for young families with push chairs and users of mobility scooters.
“The new cycle lanes and bus stops along the road will of course be a great benefit and will encourage more people to cycle, scoot, walk or take a bus for their shorter local journeys. This will in turn reduce congestion by reducing the number of cars on the road.”
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