Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership and BCP Council are pleased to announce the completion of the major improvement works at Hunger Hill in Poole.
All the lanes immediately around the new signalised junction are now fully open to motorists.
Jim Stewart, Chair of Dorset LEP said: “We are delighted with the progress being made on the major infrastructure improvements at the Port of Poole which are future-proofing key transport routes and bringing new jobs and £500 million of private investment into the area. The fact that the works at Hunger Hill have been completed so efficiently, on time and well within budget, means that the financial savings can be used to benefit even more projects that will further drive economic growth across the BCP Council area.”
Minister for Local Growth, Jake Berry MP, said: “We’re committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the UK and building a Britain fit for the future.
“The Port of Poole is such an important business centre for Dorset and we are supporting it to thrive with over £23 million of growth deal funding. This major investment in transport networks, news homes and businesses is already delivering significant benefits for the local community and helping to drive economic across the region.”
The nine month long improvement works have been funded through the Dorset Growth Deal and marks the completion of the second phase of the wider Townside scheme which is on time and under budget.
The first phase of the Townside project was completed in August 2018 and focused on the junctions either end of Marston Road. These works were in readiness for the second phase which saw the traffic flow on Marston Road changed to accommodate two-way traffic once Hunger Hill roundabout was reconfigured to become a junction in January 2019.
The final phase of works started last year and involves the completion of the links for pedestrians, cyclists and other road users from Hunger Hill to Poole Bridge. Work is currently taking place on the middle section of West Street, between New Orchard and Bay Hog Lane and includes kerbing, gulley works and resurfacing. These works will cause some delays, especially during peak hours and will be completed before the school summer holidays. There will also be some off peak lane closures to carry out snagging works. Further works will start on West Street once the schools reopen in September 2019 and will continue throughout next year.
The final phase also includes improvements to public spaces in the Townside area of Poole enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors to the area. Landscaping is currently being carried out at Hunger Hill and will continue until October 2019. These works will have minimal impact on motorists and temporary footpaths and cycleways have been provided around the site. Further landscaping will be carried out throughout this area later this year and next year.
In addition, two artists have been commissioned to help design and create inviting and attractive public spaces in the Townside area. Michael Condron will be providing two major ‘gateway’ artworks, to create a sense of arrival and departure at the southern and northern tips of area. Designers Dallas-Pierce-Quintero, have been appointed to create high quality and contemporary wayfinding designs as well as stylish street furniture. These works are based on the feedback received from residents during the previous public consultation and will be installed by the end of 2020.
Julian McLaughlin, Director of Growth and Infrastructure, BCP Council, said: “The completion of the main works at Hunger Hill is a key milestone in the Townside project. We are really pleased with how these works were designed and managed, helping to minimise the disruption to those travelling through the area. We are currently on track to complete the whole scheme by the end of 2020 and we appreciate everyone’s continued patience while these improvements are carried out.
“The Townside scheme is the final and largest project of the Port of Poole programme. It was originally anticipated that the scheme would cost £11.7 million, but we are pleased to confirm that with careful contract management and more efficient ways of working, the Hunger Hill major works have cost less than originally budgeted for making a £1.5 million saving on the project overall. This money is being reinvested by DLEP in other projects across the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole benefitting the conurbation even further.”
Cllr Andy Hadley, Cabinet Member for Transport and Infrastructure, BCP Council, added: “The £23.3 million Port of Poole programme, is a package of schemes to improve access in and around the Port of Poole unlocking growth at the Port and new development sites in Poole and bringing significant private investment into the area. As well as Townside, the schemes also include the major refurbishment works to the Poole Bridge approach spans to ensure that Poole continues to benefit from two bridge crossings and improvements to the A349 Gravel Hill. I am really pleased we are in the final stage of the Townside works and look forward to seeing the full benefits of this investment once the works are completed.”