A PROPOSAL to replace a roundabout on a busy Poole route with traffic lights has sparked a petition of protest.

Residents fear the demolition of the Gravel Hill roundabout at Dunyeats Road, which also accesses the crematorium, could lead to even longer queues at peak times if lights were installed.

The idea was included in consultation by Borough of Poole on a £4.3million scheme that will see the road closed to traffic for three months during eight months of work to stabilise the roadside embankment and improve traffic flow, starting next summer.

A petition launched by Broadstone ward councillor Mike Brooke and Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesman Vikki Slade, against lights has attracted more than 250 signatures in 24-hours.

“There is no evidence to suggest that traffic lights are the solution to the traffic problems on Gravel Hill," said Cllr Brooke. "In fact, it’s likely that they would just add to them. Everyone I have spoken to thinks the idea is crazy. They all want to see the roundabout retained.”

Vikki said: "I have received numerous letters from concerned residents. Not only are the traffic lights completely unnecessary but a huge waste of taxpayers’ money. We cannot allow the plans to go ahead.”

John Rice, engineering manager, Borough of Poole said they had received more than 900 responses to the public consultation. Some good suggestions for temporary arrangements were being investigated he said, however concerns had been raised about the Dunyeats Road junction.

“The proposals for this junction have been designed to provide a safe link across Dunyeats Road allowing cyclists to cross and use the new cycle way that will link through to Merley," he said.

"In addition it will provide a safe link across Gravel Hill enabling pedestrians and cyclists from Broadstone to access the crematorium and the footways and bridleways across Canford Heath. It will also provide additional capacity to relieve current peak hour congestion and cater for the anticipated growth in traffic along this route over the next few years.

“The installation of traffic signals at this junction is one option to achieve these aims however at this stage, these are proposals and no decisions have been made. Residents’ concerns will be considered in detail as the scheme develops.”

The petition is open until January 13 and can be found at ha2.boroughofpoole.com/elps/.