‘Is this plethora of roadworks about time limits and budgets?’

December 2, 2017

ROAD BLOCK: These are the roadworks on the B3061 Poole Road to Ashley Road stretch. Here it is partly blocked due to main gas works on the junction of Churchill Road/Richmond Road until March next year. Read below that the £2.9M they received for highway structural maintenance has to be used up by the said date. Picture by Paul Chandler.


TIGHT SQUEEZE: This set of temporary works was on Parkstone Road earlier this autumn and whilst it took place, motorists had to be careful that they did not knock over bollards, as well as cyclists too. It must be made clear these particular works are no longer there.


THIS WAY: This sign at the end of Sterte Road gives the impression that there is another way for pedestrians to go when the affordable housing development has blocked off the pedestrian route next to the railway station. This set of works has gone but the pedestrian route will be blocked off until this development has finished.


ESSENTIAL WORK: “We have responded to our residents’ requests to improve roads and pavements by embarking on an extensive road surfacing programme throughout Poole. We appreciate there is never a good time to carry out such works, but this work is essential to ensure our roads remain fit for purpose which ultimately benefits all road users.” – Borough of Poole’s transport portfolio holder Cllr Ian Potter in the Bournemouth Echo.


ARE the series of roadworks across Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch that seem to be running concurrently necessary or are they a series of vanity projects?

Friends of mine and others have asked me to focus in the plethora of utility companies that seem to be digging up the road at will or for large infra-structural projects that are taking weeks to complete, instead of days.

Down at the bottom of Sterte Road in Poole which joins the Holes Bay road that meets the bottom of part of the harbour, there have been times when manhole covers have been dug up and local residents have been blocked off from using spaces for residential car spaces on the road or off it, for which they pay the annual privilege of £55 per year.

‘Re-surfacing will happen during peak hours’

In Blandford Road it has been worse. From 13 to 24 November, there was a southbound road closure towards the town/port from Inglesham Way to Beccles Close. The closure was established at 7am daily and to be removed by evening peak daily.

I am not at liberty to name specific businesses along this route but I have found one that one that serves motorists was losing hundreds of pounds during this period and another in the hospitality sector was forcing its staff to reduce their hours temporarily as traffic couldn’t get to them. Previously I have reported concerns about lengthy roadworks impacting the cash flows of small businesses.

In December this has led to preparations for work surfacing between Rigler Road and the Port off-peak between 9.30am and 4pm. The above restrictions and others may also be needed due to more resurfacing on January.

‘Roads budget must be used up by March’

According to the Borough of Poole’s website, they received £2.9M for highways structural maintenance in August 2017 to be carried out on major roads, and this all had to be used up by March next year. Does this explain why so much work seems to be done at the same time and seems to be reducing the quality of life for local residents.

Out towards Bournemouth Airport, there has been public-funded work to make it easy for all those who drive to the Aviation East Industrial Park, but creating slip lanes away and from the entrance to this side of the airport.

Starting on Monday 4 December, the traffic division are switching resources to Magna Road to what they claim are “severely damaged parts of the road” and there will be two surfacing teams operating in Magna Road and Queen Anne Drive.

Traffic management will be of a “Stop and Go” variety which will allow two-way traffic to continue to use the road at the same time that it is surfaced in short sections.

‘Queues cause pollution and illness’

For those who think public transport could be a way around this, the railway network has faced the threat of strikes from unions and buses would get caught in the temporary car park.

Buses and cars end up having to use more fuel caught up in queues which cynics might argue is more taxation for the Department of Transport and this will cause pollution, particularly asthma sufferers and others with respiratory conditions, and I’m sure the council is aware of this.

‘Tax on queue fuel can fund vanity projects’

One resident contacted me via my community page anonymously and said what some might say is a cynical observation but may not be far off the truth: “It seems to me the Government is making a lot of tax revenue from fuel used by cars sitting in queues as well as making money from the poorly-timed traffic light system that is timed to turn red as you drive to the lights, and carefully timed to enable drivers to get to the next set of lights to also turn red. I suppose we mustn’t grumble as the extra revenue will help to fund more vanity projects.”

‘Our roads must be fit for purpose’

The council’s executive member for transport, Cllr Ian Potter, is quoted as saying in the Bournemouth Echo: “We have responded to our residents’ requests to improve roads and pavements by embarking on an extensive road surfacing programme throughout Poole. We appreciate there is never a good time to carry out such works, but this work is essential to ensure our roads remain fit for purpose which ultimately benefits all road users.”

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Andy Hadley December 2, 2017 at 11:17 pm

As an opposition Councillor representing the old town, i’m no apologist for the administration. But I sit on the Transport Advisory Group and have taken a keen interest in how we get about for far longer than I have been a Councillor.

Poole bid and was one of just a few councils to get a significant bit of capital money to improve a number of key routes. The gas work was sensibly brought forwards to prevent them digging up the road shortly after resurfacing, a sensible move.

The Sterte housing I have been disgusted by the way pedestrians have lost the path behind the site, and the footpath in front, and the scale of the development on this tiny site, but we desperately need affordable housing to rent,

The delays to Poole Bridge, its a complicated technical project, but the latest delay is just poor project management by the contractor in my view.

The council has duties to limit congestion and the fumes it causes. No conspiracy to get revenue from burning fuel in the queues.


Cllr Mark Howell December 3, 2017 at 12:33 pm

I am not familiar with the Ashley Road works as they are out of my ward. My group, Poole People, has expressed concerns to officers about the treatment of pedestrians with regard to the Sterte development. However, most of roadworks in Poole Town over the last 6 months have either been due to replacement of gas mains or resurfacing as a result of recent government grants. The former are outside the control of the Council and the latter will benefit motorists once they are completed.


Greg Hargreaves December 9, 2017 at 11:59 am

Would be nice if WPBC (Weymouth and Portland Borough Council) got some money to sort out the farm track-style roads around their borough.


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