|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||3.5 miles (5.6 km)|
|Meets:||A347, B3063, A338, A35|
|Former Number(s):||A347, B3060|
|Route outline (key)|
The A3060 consists of Castle Lane West and Castle Lane East, in the northern suburbs of Bournemouth; this was originally the B3060 but gained Class I status in the 1960s. The road has also, since the A347 was re-routed in the early 1990s, included a short portion of Wimborne Road.
The road's western end is at Redhill Roundabout, where the A347 turns south. It starts as a dual carriageway on Wimborne Road before the latter turns right at the lights. This was originally a painted mini-roundabout in the 1980s. Wimborne Road used to be the A347, so this is the former start of the A3060.
The dual carriageway fizzles out shortly after the next junction, and we are in a very wide thoroughfare with housing on either side, sometimes with a service road. Broadway Roundabout is the junction with the B3063 Charminster Road towards central Bournemouth.
Next we encounter the mass of traffic lights on the two roundabouts outside the massive Castlepoint shopping centre. (Incidentally, this was one of the first out-of-town shopping parks, opened in the 1960s as the Hampshire Centre before being replaced by the current monstrosity in 2002.) Alongside the centre is a short stretch of dual carriageway. The road here can be extremely busy, especially approaching Christmas. The original, simple roundabout was sufficient for the old shopping centre; during construction of the Castlepoint centre it was replaced by lights before the current roundabout was installed in 2005.
We then head for the Cooper Dean Roundabout, which is grade-separated for the main A338 out of town. This approach has recently (winter 2008/9) been widened and improved. On the other side, we move from Castle Lane West to Castle Lane East, and we are on a dual carriageway with three lanes each way, not including the bus lane. At the hospital turn-off, the traffic lights replaced an earlier roundabout a few years ago. Previously it was not uncommon for traffic wishing to exit the hospital complex having to wait for up to half an hour to get out, despite the queue being short in length.
Travelling westbound on this stretch, it is slightly bewildering that, of the three lanes, the right-hand two condense into one, while the left-hand one diverges into two in a fairly short distance. With a little forethought, one would think that the lanes could just have continued. Especially since the right-hand lane ends up for those turning right onto the A338 towards Ringwood.
On the other side we reduce to two lanes and at the Tesco turning a little further on, the dual carriageway ends and we are back to single-file traffic for the short distance to the end of the road at Iford Roundabout. Turn left to cross the River Stour into Christchurch.
Those with an interest in arrogant driving might well like to visit the Tesco junction and see the drivers in the offside lane barge their way into the nearside when they realise that their lane becomes a right-turn-only lane into the relatively minor Holdenhurst Avenue.
After development of the Littledown housing estate and leisure centre (the second busiest local authority-run leisure complex in the country) in the 1980s, of the hospital and law courts in the 1990s, and Castlepoint in the 2000s, it is little wonder that this is such a congested route. It is also the last opportunity for several miles to head the Christchurch side of the Stour, so there are limitations as to what can really be done to curb volume.
Under the circumstances, the A3060 probably does as well as it can be expected to do.