Earlier today, in the BCP Planning Committee, councillors gave Whitecliff development plans the go-ahead.
The walkway goes from Turks Lane to the sluice gate at Whitecliff. The busy waterway will be expanded to improve safety and create a separate cycling and walking trail. It aims to make it easier for many people to use it for travel, recreation, or work.
This will be the second of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council’s ‘super-wide’ cycle lanes.
The news follows the controversial introduction of a similar sized lane on the nearby A3049. Residents were concerned that as a result of the lanes extension drivers would have to pull over onto the cycle lanes to make way for police cars, ambulances and fire engines, increasing the risk of colliding with a bike.
During last year‘s public consultation on improving the safety of cyclists or walkers using this route, over three-quarters of respondents agreed with the proposed improvements. The council listened to responses and has amended the positioning of the cycle lane.
I am delighted that it will be improved
Councillor Mike Greene, Portfolio Holder for Transport and Sustainability said: “The large response from residents shows that they welcome an easier and safer route through this beautiful stretch of Poole’s waterside, and I am delighted that it will be improved this summer.
This is only part one of the sustainable travel plans we have for this area. We’re also working to secure funding approval for a second phase of improvements, which will continue through to Baiter Park and link with the wider cycle network and towards the town.”
This initiative will complement BCP Council’s wider Transforming Travel programme and declared climate and ecological emergency. It will also support the council Big Plan ambitions for improving local travel and creating an environment where the use of public transport, cycling and walking become more attractive travel choices.
The extension was opposed by government advisory group Natural England. When discussion of the disputation arose in todays meeting, councillor David Kelsey said: “We’ve got to learn to put our foot down and say no. The plans are going to go ahead.
“It’s undoubtably an improvement for both pedestrians and cyclists.”
The changes to the walkway are planned to begin this spring.