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Canford Bottom improvements? My journey now takes three times as long
THE controversial Canford Bottom roundabout is “trebling” journey times, motorists have claimed.
Just seven months after the revamped ‘hamburger junction’ on the A31 opened, there have been complaints of traffic chaos at the site.
The nine-month project met with criticism last summer after bosses admitted the cost to taxpayers was £8million, £2.5million more than originally estimated.
Martyn Mahy, a consultant safety engineer with Cobham Mission Equipment in Brook Road, said his journey from Moordown to Wimborne previously took 15-20 minutes and could now take 45 minutes.
“This week I’ve been sat in traffic tailing back forever twice already,” he said.
“It’s particularly bad in rush hour, as you’d expect. On a bad day you might be waiting for 15 minutes just to get to the roundabout before you can cross it.”
Mr Mahy said an absence of road markings advising motorists to keep the grid clear is only adding to difficulties at the roundabout.
“Sometimes there are tailbacks almost into Wimborne town centre from the roundabout, and as far as Ferndown on the other side,” he said.
What it's like to drive round the new junction
“At the roundabout, it can take up to eight changes of traffic lights just to cross.”
Dorset County Councillor for Colehill, Cllr Janet Dover, said she was well aware of problems at the roundabout.
“Depending on the time of day, you can be waiting for quite a long time to get through because of the amount of traffic there.
“It can be quite frustrating and it doesn’t surprise me at all that people are getting cross.”
However, Eric Haw-kins of local company Jayhawk International Ltd, said: “I actually think the roundabout is fantastic.
“It’s a big change but I think it’s making a real difference, and it’s much better in my opinion.”
Heather Groves who owns Party Proppers Plus in Wimborne Road West, said; “I think it’s brilliant.
“It’s great for locals because we get to know it.
“But I imagine it can be difficult for people who don’t live in the area to navigate.”
The manager of the Old Thatch Pub in Wimborne, Francesca Holling, said: “I don’t use it much myself, but I’ve got members of staff who think it’s a pain in the neck at peak times, and my mum, who uses it daily, thinks it’s brilliant.”
Contactor EnterpriseMouchel is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the A31.
A spokesperson has told Mr Mahy the contactors were aware of the problems, adding: “They are working with specialist engineers to see what further measures can be done to rectify the issue at Ham Lane and around the junction.
“They are looking at several different areas, like the phasing of the lights and whether any additional road markings will assist in reducing congestion.”