Posted on Thursday 18th October 2018
Leaders from local businesses in Bournemouth met with the A338/Blackwater improvement scheme project team representatives on Monday, to look at options for the works during the current phase and ahead of the peak Christmas trading period.
Facilitated by Bournemouth Council, the meeting was productive and the following is now either being considered or already agreed:
- bringing forward the reopening of all lanes slightly sooner than the planned date of 10 December. This would be dependent on current works on the carriageway being sufficiently accelerated to slightly shorten the time that traffic management is needed. Even after the traffic management is removed, work will be continuing off the highway to keep the programme on track.
- amended signage to better reflect the reality that the majority and most significant delays fall within the peak hours commuter period, with leisure visitors and shoppers mostly experiencing limited, if any, delays;
- shortening the coned off section of road during this initial phase of the works as of next week, with the initial length returning for phase 2.
- Starting the time of required, planned overnight A338 road closures scheduled for 17 and 18 November later to accommodate those visitors going home after enjoying the Bournemouth Christmas Tree Wonderland. Attempts will be made to bring the dates forward if possible.
Larry Austin, Service Director for Environment, Bournemouth Borough Council, said: “The Council is very aware of the concerns of motorists and businesses in Bournemouth, and we have actively listened to these concerns, raising them at every opportunity on a day-to-day basis. We know how desperately frustrating these traffic delays have been, and the potential impact this could have on trade in our town, so were very keen to bring together key businesses and those implementing the on-the-ground works to see if there was any way the pressure these vital works were having could be eased. We made sure that every option was fully considered and we are pleased that, by working together, some promising changes are now under consideration. Hopefully, these can be implemented and make a difference to local people’s and visitors’ experience when coming to Bournemouth for Christmas shopping and festivities.”
Martin Davies, Chair of the Town Centre BID said, “I am pleased that the Council was able to bring together various interested parties and facilitate these important discussions. It was imperative for us that we got to meet those implementing the traffic management and air our concerns openly and frankly. I feel that we did that and I’m now hopeful that the suggestions made can be put in place as soon as possible.”