A338 FAQs

Frequently asked questions 

What is the Bournemouth International Growth programme?


Bournemouth International Growth (BIG) programme is a major economic growth plan focused on employment and development around Bournemouth Airport.

Preparation is underway for schemes set to open up opportunities around the A338. 

What BIG programme schemes can we expect on the A338?

The A338 improvements consists of three elements;

  • improvements to the Blackwater Junction
  • a possible widening to the A338 Wessex Way between Blackwater and Cooper Dean
  • a new junction to provide access to a development site at Wessex Fields

There is often significant queuing at the existing Blackwater Junction on the B3073. At peak times queuing can extend to cause delays on the A338. The proposed works seek to alleviate traffic congestion in the vicinity of Blackwater Junction, improving journey times and traffic flow.

The scheme also involves creating a new link directly from the A338 to connect with the Wessex Fields business park, enabling local people to access employment opportunities at Wessex Fields, and providing a second route into the Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

When will work commence?

Improvements at Blackwater East Junction are complete. Blackwater West Junction works start Autumn 2019.

How long will the work last?

This programme of works for the three schemes runs to 2020/21.

What impact will works have?

The improvements are planned in stages. There will be some pockets in the schedule where impact on traffic is unavoidable, but this will be kept to a minimum.

How are these works being funded?

Funding has been awarded from central government to the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership to deliver schemes addressing improved access to and connectivity within the town in key locations. Dorset LEP has successfully secured £45.2 million to fund the BIG programme.

Why wasn’t this work carried out with the recent A338 roadworks?

Previous work was for resurfacing and improving the A338’s structure, to ensure that it meets current and future standards, and continues to give service in the coming years.

The new work to be carried out is to improve accessibility to and from the A338, specifically where it leads to Blackwater Junction, and to open up Wessex Fields via a new on/off slipway.

Who is carrying out the work?

Road improvement schemes planned for the A338 will be led by Bournemouth Borough Council working jointly with Dorset County Council.

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