Councillors in Poole have voted to provide an additional £250,000 to help deliver a new rail crossing in Lower Hamworthy.
Borough of Poole can now enter into an agreement with DB Schenker, freight train operator who have been granted a 125 year lease of the Hamworthy Branch Line, and appoint a civil engineering contractor.
The council has been striving to provide an additional safe rail crossing since the construction of the Harbour Reach development in 2007. The crossing will offer a direct and safe route to Hamworthy Park.
Following negotiations over several years with landowners, the council’s additional investment of £250,000 will cover a shortfall in funding to construct the crossing which will cost approximately £780,000.
Work is scheduled to start on site in the summer and with the aim of opening the new crossing to the public by the end of 2015.
Cllr Ian Potter, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Transportation, Borough of Poole, said: “For many years now, the council has wanted to provide a safe crossing for those residents enjoying the facilities at Hamworthy Park. We’re delighted this additional investment with enable us to move this scheme forward.
“We are committed to providing a bridge for Hamworthy residents and we would like to thank everyone for their patience while we resolve these last few issues before construction can start.”
Cllr Mike White, Ward Member for Hamworthy East, Borough of Poole, said: “I have been promoting this project since before Harbour Reach was built. This is a key project for the regeneration area. It is to the great credit of this council that we have finally given the green light without waiting for financial contributions to come from all the regeneration sites.”
Cllr Charmaine Parkinson, Ward Member for Hamworthy East, Borough of Poole, said: “This is great news for those who have waited for this bridge for a very long time. It has been a frustrating journey and I have supported the residents in their determination to see this bridge delivered. Here’s hoping there are no further delays in having this vital crossing built.”