Amended speed limits on A338 support £20m improvement works

Posted on Friday 17th August 2018

Speed limits are being changed on the A338 Wessex Way and B3073 (Christchurch Road/Hurn Road) to support over £20m major improvements.

This is to support preparation works ahead of Dorset County Council’s Blackwater/A338 improvements which are programmed to start this Autumn as part of the BIG Programme, funded through Dorset LEP secured growth deal funding to drive economic growth.

As part of the overall A338 investment, a permanent 50mph speed limit will be in place on the southbound and northbound carriageways of the A338 Spur Road from this evening (10 August 2018). This will cover a section of A388 from 120 metres north of its northbound on/ southbound off slip roads at the junction with the B3073 southwards for a distance of 1.4km to the Dorset County Council and Bournemouth Borough Council boundary.

Two lanes will be open to all traffic during the day time during August to accommodate the school summer period.

This permanent speed reduction from 70mph to 50mph is to help make it safer and easier to enter and exit the A338 at Blackwater junction. By bringing the speed limit in now it will also enable Dorset County Council to carry out vegetation clearance over the next few weeks away from the main highway.

From Sunday 12 August a temporary speed restriction from 50mph to 40mph will be in place during August for occasional night works.

From the start of September (after the school holidays), the 40mph temporary restriction will be in operation when working on the carriageway to enable:

  • the creation of an extra southbound lane on the section of the A338 between Blackwater Junction and Cooper Dean roundabout
  • improvements to the on slip onto the A338 southbound from the B3073 at Blackwater East Junction
  • pier protection works to the B3073 bridge and widening of the bridge over the River Stour to accommodate an additional lane

The lower speed limits are necessary to ensure work can be carried out safely.

Larry Austin, Service Director of Environment, Bournemouth Borough Council, said: “This is part of the £20m of investment that will help fund a series of highway improvements along the A338 and B3073 corridors aimed at facilitating better access into and around Bournemouth Airport as well as unlocking employment land and stimulating economic growth.”

These works are part of an ongoing planned programme of works providing improvements to the whole of the A338/B3073 intersection and follows on from the major reconstruction of the A338 in 2016.

Four public events were held throughout Bournemouth between 29 January and 12 February 2018 to explain the BIG Programme in detail and the A338/B3073 corridor improvement schemes. Details of all the schemes were exhibited and council officers were on hand to answer questions from the public about the schemes. The 50mph speed limit is an integral part of the Blackwater improvements and was widely discussed at these events. In addition a public consultation on the notices for the A338 / B3073 Traffic Regulation Order, which included the speed limit, took place from 10 May 2018 for a period of three weeks. The Traffic Regulation Order was also advertised in local newspapers.