Residents criticize plans for roadworks in Ringwood Road, Poole
RESIDENTS and business owners living along a busy Poole road slated for redevelopment are ‘angry’ after they were apparently not told of the plans before the consultation period ended.
The BCP council has proposed that sections of Ringwood Road (B3068) in Oakdale be transformed with the introduction of protected cycle lanes, narrower traffic lanes, wider pavements and safer pedestrian crossings.
Plans would see the removal of at least 18 parking spaces used by homes and businesses between Parkstone Heights and Hilton Close.
However, many people living and working in the area have criticized the consultation process – which was held from May to June last year – and say they were unaware of the plans until that they are informed by the district councillors.
Hairdresser Amanda Carey has run Quick Snip Barbers for eight years and fears that roadworks, if fully approved, could ‘kill’ her business.
She told the Echo: “We weren’t told, that’s what really lifted my spirits. People are using the parking lot outside my store to use the convenience store next door, but they are going to get rid of the parking lot, so it won’t be very practical anymore.
“If they sent a letter through the mailbox, I would be less angry. It’s more the fact that it’s a shock and now there’s nothing we can do. As if we weren’t affected enough after the Covid, we didn’t even recover from that. As a business owner I feel like I’m being kicked while I’m down, they don’t give us a chance to rebuild.
“I think it will kill us. If people don’t have a place to park, they just won’t stop.
Residents say they were only told of the plans after Oakdale councilors Pete Miles and Felicity Rice briefed them after learning they had not been briefed.
Cllr Miles said: ‘Many residents of Dorchester Road and the surrounding area are angry at the lack of consultation. There had been a period of consultation, but it was obviously not well known. We repeatedly asked for information to be sent directly to residents, but this did not happen. I don’t know why, but you have to think about it.
Despite this, a spokesperson for the BCP Council Transforming Cities Fund insisted that “extensive” outreach had been carried out during the consultation period.
They said: “Although public consultation events have been banned due to the pandemic, the process has been promoted via an extensive multi-channel marketing campaign in South East Dorset to raise awareness and encourage as much participation as possible. This included advertisements in local newspapers, magazines and newsletters, social media and street furniture signage.
“The responses received during this consultation have been analyzed and are being used to help shape the design plans. Proposals between Fernside Road and Sea View Road are subject to final agreement.
“Once the design plans are complete, we will contact residents and present the proposals later this year at a public information event.
“Following this, any proposed changes to parking will be subject to a separate statutory process via a Traffic Control Order (TRO) announcement. The TRO announcing the changes will be published in local media and affected residents will receive a letter from the BCP Board. Residents will be able to review and comment on the proposed TRO; these will be reviewed to inform the final decision on the proposals.
One resident, however, said: “There was no notice, no letter to our homes, none of us knew about it. I walk up and down Ringwood Road every day, maybe several times, and pass quite a few lampposts on both sides of the road and there wasn’t a single notice.
She added: ‘How can we as residents protest when we don’t even know a consultation is open?