‘Will current chaos on Hunger Hill be beneficial in the long-term?’

December 16, 2018

OBSTACLE COURSE: This is the view from the bottom of West Street as motorists turning right from the suspension bridge face going towards Dorchester. The gap shown here is a lot wider than what I faced one rainy evening coming this way and could have caused an accident for someone if they lost concentration.

TAKEN OVER: The top part of the shoppers car park behind the Brewhouse and Kitchen that has been given over for temporary office space for Mildren Construction and others. These car parking spaces have reduced the number for shoppers to use this Christmas and into the New Year.

GETTING INFORMED: This information board is on the Vanguard Bridge side of the Hunger Hill Junction, near to where the soup kitchen operates. The basic plans of what is happening is mapped out here.

BRIDGE JUNCTION: This is where two of the lanes from the Towngate suspension Bridge from the Dolphin Centre and the Bus Station meet, the left road feeds into Lagland Street. Two lanes are open here, but at night that has been sometimes reduced to one, marked off by cones.l



RESIDENTS and motorists are in the midst of nine months of chaos and upheaval as contractors change the roads system in Poole Town Centre.

Whilst these projects, the Borough of Poole says, are for the long-term benefit of the town, they are causing an impact on the quality of life and potentially putting motorists in danger.

‘Hunger Hill will be good for cyclists and walkers’

In a press release released by the Borough in October they said that it will “reconfigure” the Hunger Hill Junction and provide safer crossings for cyclists and pedestrians and this was when the work started.

The direction of traffic on West Street (towards the Twin Sails Bridge and Old Town Bridge) and on West Quay Road (towards Hunger Hill Junction) will also change.

‘Work could take up to 18 months’

The Council’s in-house StreetScene team started this work at the time of this press release and they intend to press on right until 2020.

This work will involve the completion of the links for pedestrians, cyclists and other road users from Hunger Hill to Poole Bridge and provide extensive landscaping and public realm improvements in the area. The contract was awarded to Mildren Construction.

The Dorset Local Entreprise Partnership secured £23.3M from the Dorset Growth Deal and they claim it will provide £500M of leveraged private investment to the Poole area with 1,500 jobs and 3,000 new homes.

‘Signage and cones not always clear at night’

Unfortunately many of the signs that have put up for motorists (particularly at night) could be confusing and dangerous and are not always clear at night. The site sometimes reminds me of my childhood living next to a mineral extraction site minus the dump trucks and diggers. and you almost expect Bob the Builder to turn up in a high-viz jacket saying “Can we fix it?”

‘Don’t drive down bridge road at speed’

If anyone is driving along West Quay Road to Hunger Hill Junction from the Old Town Bridge please be careful to remember there is a temporary uneven surface as you come towards the junction before turning left towards Asda and Dorchester. If you travel down it at speed, motorists will almost certainly damage their vehicles, to kill your speed and keep in a lower gear.

‘Gap width of a small car at night’

Coming back over the suspension bridge from the Dolphin Centre can be disorienteering at night due to the proliferation of cones and one evening I turned right around the roundabout to head towards Holes Bay Road and a plethora of signs and cones led to a gap to get through the width of a small car – since this experience and to be fair to the contractors, this gap has been noticeably widened.

‘Shopping car spaces temporarily erased’

The contractor has taken over half the car parking spaces behind the Brewhouse and Kitchen pub. Will these parking spaces be permanently taken out of circulation given the number of vacant premises on the High Street and fewer spaces for shoppers to park?

Compare this to a new EU-funded road in the poor region of Dalmatia in Croatia and you will seen car-free roads and no speed cameras, warning signs or cones in sight.

‘This will bring jobs to the region’

For the record DLEP’s director Lorna Carver said at the time: “This multi-million pound investment into the Port of Poole’s transport infrastructure will not only safeguard important road and bridge routes and unlock economic growth into the region.

“Improving the infrastructure will secure industrial, maritime, residential and visitor growth and deliver significant long-term employment, housing and economic development.”

  • DON’T normally ask readers to post comments but if you have been directly affected by this, it would be good to hear from you.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Cllr Andy Hadley December 23, 2018 at 8:01 pm

Matt, you don’t answer your own question. I have campaigned long and hard not to have a 1980s-style gyratory in the 21st century. Many other towns and cities are busy taking these out – the Birmingham Bullring, the Aldwych junction, and Elephant and Castle in London, and very many more besides.

One way two lanes encourages spaeeding. to try and reduce this, they’ve narrowed the lanes, this is bad for the heavy goods vehicles, especially foreign lorries, straight into this mess from the ferry on top of being on an unfamiliar Left Hand drive. They have also consigned cycling to the pavement, rather than the previous painted lanes on the road, thus making a very poor cycling experience, and creating conflict with pedestrians.

in my view this scheme is very bad for all modes of trransport, but esepecially for those walking and cycling in the area, and for residents whose properties adjoin West Street, faces with noise, fumes and vibration from heavy vehicles. this should have been part of the Old Town 20mph zone, with West Quay Road as the through route to the bridges.

As ward councillor for the area, i have been ignored and overrruled. Engineers who don’t seem to understand the impact of what they do, and Tory politicians who believe that their engineers are the experts, and don’t seem to engage any thought into checking this out,

It’s a very sad waste of public money.

Andy Hadley
Poole People Councillor for Poole Town Ward


Martin O'Neill December 23, 2018 at 11:12 pm

Expensive waste of time with money that would be better spent on Poole A&E and cancer patients.


John Rowley January 12, 2019 at 8:26 am

As a Swanage Resident who visits the Dolphin Centre on a fairly regular basis, I am concerned that the new scheme seems that the return journey will now require a battle down a small two way street and no doubt more traffic jams. It seems that cyclists and pedestrians will benefit from the scheme BUT motorists visiting local shops will be put off. If I find that it is a struggle to get out of Poole, then I will go elsewhere. At 75 I will not be cycling to Poole from Swanage. Let us hope I will be proved wrong.


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