The package will focus on the corridor of the Gold Service, which currently serves Aldershot, Farnborough, Frimley and Camberley; a successful and strategically important bus service for Blackwater Valley. However, the service and infrastructure has been in place for 7 years, during which time there have been significant developments within the areas served. It is recognised that additional investment and strategic planning for this service is required to better serve developments such as Aldershot Urban Extension, access to Frimley Hospital, and to improve links to rail. There is also an opportunity to better link active travel modes to both bus and rail services and further opportunities to better link business parks and hubs to the public transport network as well as improvements to public realm. It is essential that high-quality sustainable travel links are improved prior to completion of 3,850 new homes at Wellesley, and new areas of employment, before the car becomes the established mode of travel.
This package of measures will include a strong focus on sustainable transport and complementary improvements to public realm, public transport and the highway network. Building on the significant investment of £4.5 million by the local bus operator into transforming and modernising the vehicles that operate in the area, these elements will together bring significant economic and social improvements to the area, including better access to key business parks and the town centre, making the area more attractive to inward investors and improving access to employment and retail sites for local residents.
The package is still to be fully developed but will be drawn from:
The Blackwater Valley is an area with a highly complex pattern of travel demands. About half of the resident workforce are out-commuting to a range of destinations and an even higher proportion of jobs available in the area are dependent upon in commuting. With projected residential and economic growth, significantly more pressure will be placed on the transport network. The package will help to ensure the continued success and future growth of the local economy. To not do so will lead to further growth in labour shortages, an increase in people’s willingness to in-commute longer distances or increase pressure on businesses to locate out of the area. The package will contribute to the following outputs:
Amount financed: £8 million
Total cost: £10.5 million
Status: In progress
Project Lead: Kevin Travers
Partner: Hampshire County Council
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