Dorset Council has announced that preparation work for a 2.3km cycleway in the Wimborne and Colehill areas has started.
This marks the start of the first sustainable infrastructure scheme to be built in south east Dorset through Transforming Travel’s Transforming Cities Fund.
Dorset Council and BCP Council were one of 12 city regions in England to secure a share of the government’s Transforming Cities Fund based on its commitment to driving economic growth through investment in public sustainable transport. It forms a major part of the region’s Transforming Travel programme promoting sustainable travel.
A series of walking and cycling improvements along Leigh Road and Wimborne Road West in the area will enable more sustainable journeys and expand the travel choices available to people living and working in the area.
Work on the ground, due to start in January and complete in Autumn 2021, will be delivered by Dorset Council. It will be rolled out in 400 metre sections to minimise disruption to the public.
The cycleway will link with existing National Cycle Networks (via the Castleman Trailway) and other proposed Transforming Travel schemes to provide a continuous, attractive network for cyclists wishing to cycle to key destinations in Dorset.
Councillor Ray Bryan, Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment at Dorset Council said: “This exciting and much-needed investment in sustainable infrastructure in Wimborne will transform local travel options, connecting people safely to local jobs and education while also helping to reduce carbon emissions. Currently, there is no traffic-free cycle provision along the 40mph Leigh Road. Cyclists must either travel on the busy road – which carries over 12,000 vehicles a day – or illegally use the pavements. The improvements planned at Leigh Road are part of our ambition to make south east Dorset a cleaner, greener, healthier place to live, work, and do business.”
James Cleeton, Director for the south of England at Sustrans, said: “It’s great to see this project moving forwards. Creating a new path for walking and cycling that’s separated from the traffic on this busy road will fill the gap on this popular route. As a key corridor linking schools and businesses with residential areas, the path will enable more people to travel actively to work or school and enjoy all the benefits that brings.
“Filling this gap on the National Cycle Network will help us to move one step closer to fulfilling our ambition of creating a network of paths that really is for everyone.”