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Improvements works on Ashley Road suspended for Christmas

Works to improve pedestrian, cycling and traffic facilities on a busy main road in Poole are being suspended from the end of November to help support local shoppers and businesses in the busy run up to Christmas.

Major improvement works have been undertaken in the central area of Ashley Road, between Jubilee Road and Albert Road, since September. The works have been progressing well and will now stop for five weeks providing a welcome boost to people shopping in the area. The works will resume in the new year. 

All temporary restrictions will be removed during this period enabling the free flow of traffic on the road. The bus stop, located outside the Co-Op, will also be temporarily reinstated to provide passengers with easy access to the shops.

Councillor Ian Potter, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Transportation, Borough of Poole, said: “The lead-up to Christmas is an extremely busy time, so it is important that we support local businesses and shoppers during this period. Ashley Road provides a diverse and interesting range of shops and we hope that by halting these works now it will encourage shoppers to visit the area and see what’s on offer.”

Councillor Ann Stribley, Ward Member for Parkstone and Chairman of the Transport Advisory Group, Borough of Poole, said: “It will be great when all the works are completed. However residents, shoppers and businesses have been very patient and tolerant over recent weeks and do deserve some respite in the lead up to Christmas. Following many representations from pedestrians I am also delighted that we have been able to reinstate the 'bleepers' on the crossings near Waitrose and the Victoria Cross.”

Cllr Marion Le Poidevin, Ward Member for Branksome West, said: "The work on Ashley Road seems to be progressing well but I welcome the decision to put it on hold during December. With the temporary bus stop moving back to its regular site outside the Co-op and the new stop and parking places opposite, it will be easier to get to the heart of the shopping area so I would encourage residents to come and explore the range of goods available. I look forward to seeing the completed project in the spring when Ashley Road will have been turned into a more people-friendly place, with trees, planters and better seating." 

The works, which are part of a wider £1 million improvement programme for Ashley Road, will start again in January and are programmed to be completed by the end of March 2015.

Once completed, this section of Ashley Road will benefit from:

•     separate parking and bus lay-bys to ensure buses can pull right in to the bus stop, enabling traffic to keep flowing;
•     two new bus stops and bus stop shelters in the vicinity of the Co-op and the Conservative Club, which include integral seating and satellite-linked real time information displays;
•     a new centrally located and upgraded signal controlled pedestrian crossing and two pedestrian refuge (island) crossings;
•     improvements to the local environment including removing unnecessary signs and street furniture widening footways wherever possible and new landscaping with some trees.

The improvements are part of the Three Towns Travel project which aims to promote sustainable travel across the conurbation of Poole, Bournemouth, and Christchurch along the busy A35 corridor.