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Public consultation on upgrades at the Westhorpe Interchange to improve access to and from the Globe Business Park, Marlow

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A public consultation is to be launched on highway improvements to the Westhorpe Interchange near the Globe Business Park in Marlow.

The consultation will start on Monday 7th January 2019 and last for four weeks until midnight on Friday 1st February 2019. Businesses on the Globe Business Park are being consulted on three coordinated upgrades to the interchange including :

  • Traffic signals on the Westhorpe Interchange (the roundabout that takes the A4155 over the A404).
  • A new bespoke slip road from the A404 onto Parkway (around the Fire Station).
  • An additional access/exit to the park from the A4155.

The three measures have been chosen from a long list of options developed by partners over the past year and offer a coordinated approach to improve the situation.

The options being consulted on have been developed by partners on a steering group made up of members from :

  • Globe Business Park Business Improvement District (coordinator)
  • Buckinghamshire County Council (as Highways Authority and part funder of scheme)
  • Wycombe District Council (part funder of scheme)
  • Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (completed bid for Highways England money under the Growth and Housing Fund and contribution from Growing Places Fund)
  • Little Marlow Parish Council
  • Marlow Town Council
  • Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue

The improvement scheme will be funded from Highways England (£1.18m) with additional money from the Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (£63k), Buckinghamshire County Council (£250k) and Wycombe District Council (£250k) making a total pot of £1.74m.

The consultation is targeted at businesses on the park as they have been the voice behind the need for the scheme, however it is likely that residents close to the Globe Business Park and further afield in the town will be interested and may wish to comment too. Their feedback is welcomed.

As well as the consultation there will be a series of drop in events in the first and last week of the consultation period being held at different times and locations across the park and the surrounding area. These will give people an opportunity to pop in and see a display setting out the highway improvements and ask questions in person. The drop in schedule will be published on the GBP website by the end of the year.

Councillor Paul Irwin, Deputy Cabinet Member for Transportation at Buckinghamshire County Council, said: ‘We are well aware there is a lot of congestion on the local road network. In the morning peak there can be a lot of queuing on the A404, as well as problems getting off the road into both GBP and Marlow. In the evening peak the reverse situation applies.

I’m delighted that we have managed to attract external funding and bring everyone together to support a number of suggestions. I believe there is the potential at Globe for us to improve the transport network, reduce at least some of the local congestion and encourage more investment in the business park. This could be a really good ‘win-win-win’ scheme.

I would encourage businesses and local residents to check out the proposals, either online or at one of the forthcoming events. It is important for us to know that there is support for the enhancements or whether they could be improved.

Tim Williams, Chair of the GBP BID Board, said:  ‘Working with key stakeholders to develop the improvement works at Westhorpe Interchange has been integral to bringing this scheme to fruition.

Access and egress have been long running issues for users and visitors alike and a key factor in hampering economic growth and making GBP an attractive place to work and do business.

As we move forward these works demonstrate the considerable efforts of all involved to bring this project to life for the benefit of businesses, visitors and the local community.

Councillor Steve Broadbent, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration at Wycombe District Council, said: ‘We are very supportive of this scheme and are pleased to one step closer to delivery with this consultation process.

Access to GBP has been an ongoing issue that businesses have told us about repeatedly – and a problem reflected in the vacancy rates at this key business asset. Getting action on this was one of the main drivers for why we promoted and funded the work to develop the business-led Business Improvement District – who are coordinating this work.

GBP Business Improvement Park Manager, Margaret McCarthy said: ‘While we appreciate that the resulting roadworks on this busy interchange will cause disruption for many people when they begin, we see this as short term pain for long term gain – that will not only benefit people driving to work on the business park – but also ease traffic flow for people taking their children to school or taking onward journeys via the A404 at peak times of the day.

The results of the survey will be analysed through February 2019 and shared with Highways England to help inform their detailed design stage ahead of build. It is anticipated that work will start in 2019 and once we have timings for this they will be shared widely.

Further information and details can be found on the Globe Business Park website.

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