22nd October 2009 - Previous Correspondence - August 2009 - June 2009

River Crossing at Throop

Throop connections by foot, bike and horse: route a step closer

Communities across the UK, including Bournemouth and Hurn, voted for the Sustrans’ Connect2 to win the TV vote to bring £50million of lottery funding to 79 communities across the UK to create networks for everyday journeys for people travelling by foot or bike.

Today [19/10/09], the project to connect Throop to Hurn Forest and beyond is a step closer as sustainable transport charity Sustrans and its Connect2 partners at Bournemouth Borough Council and Dorset County Council sign the paperwork that will guide the development for the coming years.

The Memorandum of Understanding, signed today, confirms partners’ continued commitment to the project and pledges £300,000 from Sustrans’ Connect2 lottery award, to reinstate the historical Pig Shoot crossing, by the construction of a new bridge over the River Stour at Throop.

A wider network of traffic-free paths and quiet roads will link communities south of the river to the green spaces in the north, enabling walkers, cyclists and horse riders from the town to travel in ways that are beneficial to their health and the environment.

Over the last few months, feasibility studies have been completed for a crossing over the river Stour, and now the Councils have £325k of funding in place to implement the scheme.

Councillor Robert Lawton, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport said: "I am delighted that we have now secured the lottery funding for this very important project.

This project will provide an essential link for walkers and cyclists alike. I would like to thank the efforts of the ward councillors for their hard work and commitment to making this project a reality."

Councillor Hillary Cox, Dorset County Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment, says: “This is an important scheme for residents in both Bournemouth and Dorset.

Both councils are working closely together to recreate the link lost to residents when the ford disappeared several years ago. The new bridge will effectively re-connect two existing tracks across the river, providing better links to schools and leisure facilities as well as providing better opportunities for healthy, car-free transport for all residents.”

Sustrans has appointed an area manager, Richard Rider, to help deliver the scheme and over the next few years, he will work with the Councils and the community-led steering group to complete the scheme. Work is currently scheduled to start in 2011 and be completed by 2012.

Sustrans’ Regional Director, Adrian Roper says: “We are delighted to be making this significant step towards completing the scheme between Bournemouth, Hurn Forest and the adjacent employment areas. In this era of rising fuel prices and concerns about the health of individuals and our environment, enabling more journeys to be made by foot and bike can only benefit our community.”

Anne Peters, representing horse riders in the Throop and Muscliff area, says “Sustrans deserves huge credit for launching this scheme, as do the Councils for pursuing the vision to invest in sustainable transport. Currently 130 horses are kept at Throop, and they now will have a safe route to Ramsdown Forest and Sopley Common, as well as Hurn Bridge Equestrian Centre, without the need to use transport to attend events and to hire at the sand school.”

Richard Monaghan, of Bournemouth Disabled Forum, says: “This route has been a long held aspiration for many. Local users of wheelchairs, buggies and prams will now be able to experience the exceptionally pretty meadowland routes to the north, which until now has been impossible to get to. This is a fantastic day.”

This scheme has been made possible through the enormous popular support for Sustrans’ Connect2 - as voted for by the public in the UK’s largest lottery competition in December 2007.

The anticipated cost of the Bournemouth scheme is £750,000, with £300,000 coming from the Big Lottery Fund as part of Sustrans’ Connect2.

The lottery award will be added to locally sourced match-funding to transform local travel in 79 communities throughout the UK - changing the lives of six million people who live within a mile of a scheme. Over the next five years, nearly £30 million annually will be invested in creating these local walking and cycling networks from Devon to Perthshire.

Further information about Sustrans, including other news releases and detailed online route mapping, is available through our website: Sustrans