Next phase of A338 improvements begin

Published on Monday 23 January, 2017 by Charlotte Knight


The next phase of A338 improvements, part of Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership’s Bournemouth International Growth (BIG) Programme, start today Monday 23 January. 

The works will take place between Blackwater and Cooper Dean and will last for six weeks. The first three weeks will result in a lane closure and a 40 mph speed restriction.  The second three weeks will involve work away from the highway to carry out exploratory works for the Wessex Fields scheme and is not expected to impact on road users.

Launched in January 2016, the BIG Programme is a major economic growth plan focused on employment and development around Bournemouth Airport and Wessex Fields.  

The programme is overseen by Dorset LEP in collaboration with Dorset County Council, Bournemouth Borough Council, Christchurch and East Dorset Councils and the Manchester Airports Group, owners of the Bournemouth Aviation Business Park.  £45,200,000 has been allocated to fund the BIG Programme, secured by Dorset LEP through the Government’s ‘Growth Deals’.

The BIG Programme’s first major transport scheme - the £22 million major renewal of the A338 Bournemouth Spur Road between Ashley Heath and Blackwater - was completed in May 2016. 

The second phase of major transport schemes (announced at the end of September 2016) sees over £20 million of investment in a series of highway improvements along the A338 and B3073 corridors (at Blackwater Junction, Hurn roundabout, Wessex Fields junction, Chapel Gate and Parley Cross).

The planned improvements on the A338 at Blackwater Junction will consist of:

  • improvements to the A338/B3073 Blackwater Junction
  • new on/off slip road to provide access from the A338 southbound to an employment development site at Wessex Fields
  • a possible widening to the A338 Wessex Way between Blackwater and Cooper Dean

Construction is set to start on the Blackwater Junction in autumn 2017.

Gordon Page, chairman of Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership said:

"The second phase of the BIG Programme’s infrastructure investments is tackling key pinch points on the A338 and B3073.

It forms part of a wider programme of much needed connectivity improvements around Bournemouth Airport and Wessex Fields which collectively will alleviate traffic congestion, transform accessibility for existing businesses, drive economic growth and open up new employment sites in Dorset.”



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