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Criticism triggers review of Poole roads layout

An independent review of the controversial road layout around Poole’s new iconic Twin Sails bridge, which opened last March, will be published this week following months of criticism by locals

.Poole Borough Council hired an independent transport consultant earlier this month to review the decision to install a one-way gyratory system on the eastern approach to the bridge after locals complained that the layout encouraged speeding and severed the community.

Phil Jones Associates managing director Phil Jones will present his findings to Poole’s economic overview and scrutiny committee at the end of September but it is unclear whether these will recommend any change to the layout.

The £930,000 gyratory system was built to link the existing Poole bridge and the Twin Sails bridge, which opened last year.

Proven to work

Poole Borough Council engineering and maintenance manager John Rice said the plans “were developed and proven to work” and formed part of the proposals for the bridge during its public enquiry in 2005.

But he added: “The traffic plans were made 10 years ago. This will review whether 10 years on, we still have the right scheme.”

The main feature of the scheme was to change two main roads on the eastern side of the crossing to one-way operation to increase traffic capacity.

The gyratory problem is the latest in a line of technical problems to dog the bridge. Its opening was delayed by almost a month after cracking appeared on the road deck’s lifting leaves and forced a hasty resurfacing (NCE 29 March).

The bridge also suffered four months of delays after problems with its hydraulic and lifting systems. Rice said all these issues had been resolved and the bridge was operating “reliably”.

The target price of the bridge rose from £18.5M at contract signing in 2010 to £21.6M in March this year as the final price was established.

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