The Dorset Council consultation on a new proposed cycle and pedestrian travel route to Poole through Ferndown and from Wimborne has begun.
The proposed routes of which this is one, are the result of a joint initiative between Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council and Dorset Council.
These councils have won government funding for this scheme through the “Transforming Cities” Fund. This funding has to be used to upgrade walking and cycling routes across the BCP, Ferndown and Wimborne areas.
These proposed changes do involve some modifications to vehicular roadways. But these changes will be to accommodate the new cycle/footpath scheme. They are not directly aimed at improving the general traffic flow through Ferndown and surrounds.
The documents (in total) are available on This Link. Each section of the link has it’s own documentation so we would recommend that you at least look at the documentation that will directly affect you.
Use Your Local Knowledge. Have your say
The consultation will be open until June 14th. You can make your comments on-line through this Snap Surveys link.
This link is also available towards at the bottom of the main page on the BCP site. It would far better to be placed at the top above the fold and so be clearly visible. But never mind.
Travel Route to Poole: Our Opinion (So Far)
The general impression from South Ferndown Residents Association members is that there are many laudable points within this plan and generally it is to be welcomed.
However there are a number of items that are we consider contentious or unrealistic. As well as that we feel there are a number of very important issues that have been skimmed over or simply not addressed at all.
A Few Examples:
The general consensus is that the new Toucan crossing near the access road to Longham Lakes is long overdue and welcomed. The reduction of the speed limit to 30mph along Ringwood road is also to be welcomed. We also welcome the other pedestrian crossings planned for other parts of the route through Ferndown.
(If you want to know exactly what a Toucan or Pelican (etc) crossing is go to This Site which will enlighten you!)
However we currently have mixed opinions on the proposed traffic lights on Longham bridge. This will potentially have a number of detrimental effects on local residents and barely impact cycle safety unless it deters heavy vehicles from using the route.
Heavy vehicles are the primary reason for the chaos at Longham bridge. They often cause the traffic flow to stop simply because they can hardly fit onto the bridge.
If the traffic lights deter heavy vehicles then that is positive. But if they do not then:
- The dismal traffic flow today will be potentially made worse. Cyclists will remain corralled by stationary trucks and cars
- Pollution is already high. With more vehicles (especially lorries) stationary and idling at the lights, this will be made worse.
The approaches to the bridge (designed in the 1830’s) are the problem. Without applying a weight restriction to the bridge or otherwise deterring heavy vehicles, the traffic jams will continue.
We are unconvinced that traffic lights will necessarily deter heavy vehicles or improve cyclist safety. We would like to see a “Plan B” in case the traffic light concept does not address the issue.
Removal of carriageway routes and features
We are also concerned with the removal/non implementation of the following items. Here are our immediate concerns. This is far from a comprehensive list
- Removal of the left hand turn from Victoria Road into Ringwood Road towards Tricketts. Will this not cause traffic problems at Wimborne Road?
- Removal of the left hand turn from New Road into Ringwood Road towards Church Road. Won’t this push even more traffic down Dudsbury Avenue?
- Removal of the layby on Ringwood Road from Petrol Station past cycle shop. Is this a retrograde step?
- Removal of left hand lane from Wimborne Road into Cobham Road (Industrial estate) Won’t this stop the steady flow of traffic onto the industrial estate?
- The lack of pavement on Stapehill Road appears to have been ignored. It leads to two industrial estates, the Castleman Trail and a large family pub. There is room for a pavement. It also branches off Ham Lane which already has a pavement/cycle route.
Travel Route to Poole: Road Traffic Problems
For obvious reasons the report is heavily biased to the cycling/walking/public transport agenda. There is nothing wrong in improving the these aspects of personal travel and we generally support these initiatives..
Sadly though schemes like this do not and cannot address the desperate need to improve and/or ameliorate vehicular traffic flow and reduce it’s impact on Ferndown residents.
This is without doubt an item of major concern to us all. Today we have to endure the continual traffic jams/noise/pollution associated with the overloaded roads. One major problem with this scheme (laudable as it is) is that it diverts attention away from addressing the desperate need for action on the overloaded Ferndown roads.
While it is good to see the planned improvement to cycle-ways and footpaths, we do worry that this is just another scheme that is to all intents and purposes re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. It is not going to magically improve traffic flow or measurably reduce traffic load. To think it can or will is simply wishful thinking.
It is very important that as many residents and interested groups voice their opinions as possible on this scheme.
This is not an exercise that will be repeated for a considerable time. It will (if not set in stone) strongly guide future direction for the maintenance and development of the cycle/pedestrian travel route to Poole from Ferndown.
This is your chance to have your opinion heard. Use it.