£79m Central Government Boost for BCP Area

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Vicky Moss has been working tirelessly in the hope to get funding for improvements to road safety, better footpaths and provision for cyclists throughout BH13. She has conducted in depth research, submitted proposals to BCP and recently made a presentation to the Transport Advisory Committee. No one could have done more. Notwithstanding we are still being ignored and sidelined as a Ward and as an important part of the tourist offering to visitors.

Please read Vicky’s article.

£79m Central Government Boost for BCP Area for More Buses and Safer Walking and Cycling Routes… BH13 & Bh14 Excluded

Residents should be aware of a development in BCP Council strategic infrastructure plans that could have a detrimental effect on our area.

Over the last year, tens of millions of pounds of Infrastructure Investment from Central Government Funding has been promised to 12 cities with populations of 400,000 or more.

The ‘Transforming Cities Fund’ is a £1.2 billion-pound central government initiative to boost infrastructure investment in 12 cities/ conurbations around the country.  In early March it was announced, The BCP Council has been awarded £79m to inject infrastructure investment in the BCP area to improve buses and cycling and walking routes.

Unfortunately, the BCP Council’s ‘Transforming Cities Fund’ plans have given areas south of the conurbation, a very wide berth.

BH13 and BH14 are one of three or four areas out of the 32 wards in the BCP Area which have been excluded from the ‘Transforming Cities Fund’ Project. This means the other Wards will benefit from on average £2.5m each with improved ‘commuter corridors’ to encourage sustainable travel.

In addition, £6.85m has been raised through Community Infrastructure Levy Receipts (developer’s tax) in BH13 since 2013 and only £54,100 invested here. The idea behind CIL is that it is used to enhance infrastructure in the community where development has taken place. This has not happened in BH13 and lives are at risk as people attempt to go about their daily lives.

For those who can’t drive, due to school age, old age, or other health reasons, you will be all too aware of the lack of bus routes around here. For those of us who do drive, you will know how dangerous it can feel pulling out of roads that feed into the thoroughfares with the speed and volume of cars and the hazardous bends.

Our roads have become dangerous rat runs for the wider BCP area. Where the congestion is so bad elsewhere, the network of wide, open roads round here serves as relief roads to thousands of commuters every day. It really isn’t fair that we keep getting missed out of funding to address the issues.

Many  thanks to those of you who signed the BPCCRA Highways Safety Petition in the Autumn for safety improvements for installation of the basic infrastructure such as more pedestrian crossings  so that  walking routes to get to the, shops, buses, train station and community hubs are accessible to all ages and levels of mobility (not just those who can run across roads so they don’t get killed).

It may have been too late  for BH13 to get a slice of the Transforming Cities Fund pie, but in January the BPCCRA  submitted a CIL bid for £1.7m to address the deficits in infrastructure in Branksome Park and Canford Cliffs.

It will be interesting to see how the BCP allocate those funds. We have identified 14 areas that need pedestrian crossings and traffic orders such as 20mph zones from the Highway Safety Petition.

We hope that an independent highways survey will be funded through the CIL bid to come up with a programme of measures and the money to make the area more accessible and safer for our residents.

Vicky Moss

20th March 2020