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Expert called in over ‘race track’ roadway at Poole harbour
An independent traffic expert has been appointed to review a controversial £930,000 road system feeding the two Poole harbour crossings.
Changing the road network at the heart of the old town regeneration area involved creating a gyratory system, which has variously been described as “a racetrack” and “an accident waiting to happen”.
The system to allow drivers over the Twin Sails Bridge and Poole Bridge included reversing the direction of traffic on Bay Hogg Lane, a new Marston Road linking West Quay Road and West Street, making West Quay Road one-way northbound and West Street one-way southbound.
Unhappy residents took their fight against it as far as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles last year, calling on him to intervene.
Now nine months after the system opened to traffic, Borough of Poole’s economy overview and scrutiny committee has started a review and appointed expert witness Phil Jones, who has extensive expertise in traffic analysis and transport planning.
Bill Constance, chairman of Poole Old Town Conser-vation Group, said his members welcomed the review, having felt the original decision was rush-ed through.
“We have got a race track for cars,” he said. “It’s very difficult to cross the road. It’s just not a pedestrian or cyc-list-friendly place.”
Poole People leader Cllr Mark Howell said speeding up the decision on the nearly £1million scheme to save £200,000 by not having to change the Twin Sails junction twice had been “throwing money away”.
He said the roads were a barrier to pedestrians between the tourist areas of the Quay and new developments proposed along the waterfront of the Back Water Channel.
“It’s an absolutely crucial junction for Poole in the town. It’s what is going to link the regeneration area to the town centre,” he said.
And he described the current system as “an accident waiting to happen”.
Cllr Brian Clements, chairman of the overview and scrutiny committee, said: “We are now in a position to hear how the road system works for people and businesses in the town and want to use feedback to inform the findings of the review.
“The regeneration area will be a new part of Poole town centre that will be here for many years and we need to create a place which future generations will be proud of.”
Anyone wishing to have their say can write to Bridget West, Select Committee, c/o Civic Centre, Poole, BH15 2RU, or email email@example.com.
A public hearing will take place on Friday September 7 at the Civic Centre.