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15 July 2019

A338/Blackwater Junction Reopens

A338/Blackwater Junction Reopens

Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), BCP Council and Dorset Council are pleased to confirm that the major improvement works at the A338/Blackwater Junction have been completed on time and on budget.

All four lanes of the A338 are now open ahead of the main summer holiday period.

The nine-month long scheme formed part of the Bournemouth International Growth (BIG) Programme’s transport and infrastructure projects, funded through Dorset LEP secured growth deal* funding aimed at driving economic growth.

The A338 investment has included:

  • the extended on slip and merge lane from Blackwater Junction to Cooper Dean roundabout
  • improvements to the on slip onto the A338 southbound from the B3073 at Blackwater East Junction
  • improvements to the off slip from the A338 southbound to Cooper Dean roundabout
  • improvements to the off slip from the A338 northbound on to the B3073 at Blackwater West Junction
  • pier protection works to the B3073 bridge and widening of the bridge over the River Stour to accommodate an additional lane

Minister for Local Growth, Jake Berry, MP said: “We’re committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the UK and building a Britain fit for the future.

“The major improvements to the A338 / Blackwater Junction, part of the £45.2 million of Local Growth Fund investment in Dorset’s transport network, will improve traffic flow and ease congestion to make journeys for all road users in the area much easier. I’m pleased to see work on this section of the roads improvement project completed and look forward to people and businesses across Dorset seeing the benefits.”

Jim Stewart, Chair of Dorset LEP said: “We are delighted to see the successful completion of the final phase of the A338 / Blackwater Junction improvements delivering better traffic flow at this key junction. It marks another key milestone in Dorset LEP’s multi-million-pound BIG Programme which tackles the region’s transport issues and opens up opportunities for economic growth and job creation in and around Bournemouth Airport and Wessex Fields.” 

Cllr Margaret Phipps, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning, BCP Council, commented: “I am delighted that these works are now complete. For their duration the long delays to motorists across a wide area of Christchurch and Bournemouth have been very frustrating, particularly at morning and evening rush hours. It is good news that we can all now look forward to free flowing traffic through Blackwater Junction to Cooper Dean.”

Cllr Ray Bryan, Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, Dorset Council, added: “I’m pleased that our partnership working with Hanson and BCP Council has resulted in another scheme being successfully completed.

“These types of road improvements are vital for the long-term economic growth of Dorset, I know that local drivers will be overjoyed that the work has finished.” 

These completed works are part of Dorset LEP’s BIG Programme of ongoing planned programme of works providing improvements to the whole of the A338/B3073 intersection and follows on from the major reconstruction of the A338 in 2016.



Notes for editors

Picture 1 (L-R) Ian Price, Hanson Contracting UK, Tanya Ruseva, Dorset Council, Gary Powell and Cllr Margaret Phipps, BCP Council and Jim Stewart Dorset LEP

Launched in January 2016, the BIG Programme is a major economic growth plan focused on employment and development around Bournemouth Airport and Wessex Fields.  Over seven years a series of transport and infrastructure investments will:

  • Transform accessibility to and around Bournemouth Airport and Wessex Fields through extensive transport improvements;
  • Release up to 60 hectares of prime, flexible employment land for high-quality new business premises at Aviation Business Park;
  • Provide the single largest employment opportunity in the southeast Dorset conurbation with the potential to create up to 10,000 new highly skilled jobs over the next decade;
  • Generate up to £500 million of GVA into the area;
  • Deliver around 350 new homes of which up to 50 per cent are affordable;
  • Deliver increased broadband capacity to Bournemouth Airport and Aviation Business Park;
  • Develop a new approach to improve skills and employee development, better tailoring it to the needs of key business sectors (aerospace, aviation, advanced manufacturing, digital media, marine, defence and financial services). 

Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership is overseeing the BIG Programme in collaboration with BCP Council and Dorset Council.

* £45,200,000 has been allocated to fund the BIG Programme from the £98.5 million funding secured by Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership through the Government’s ‘Growth Deals’.  

* “Local Growth Fund”

Local Enterprise Partnerships are playing a vital role in driving forward economic growth across the country, helping to build a country that works for everyone.

That’s why by 2021 Government will have invested over £12bn through the Local Growth Fund, allowing LEPs to use their local knowledge to get all areas of the country firing on all cylinders.

Some additional key facts:

There are 38 LEPs covering the whole of England.

The government has awarded £9.1bn in three rounds of Growth Deals to local areas to drive economic growth.

LEPs are investing in a wide range of projects including transport, skills, business support, broadband, innovation and flood defences.


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