Drivers face traffic chaos in busy tourist area after shortcut closed to tackle 'dominance of cars'

Drivers face traffic chaos in busy tourist area after shortcut closed to tackle 'dominance of cars'

WATCH: The panel discuss road management schemes

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 02/02/2024

- 11:24

Updated: 02/02/2024

- 11:25

Residents fear the road closures could cause further issues in the busier summer months

Drivers have slammed new trial measures which have seen a common shortcut closed in a popular tourist attraction to benefit pedestrians and cyclists.

A popular road has been closed causing gridlock and congestion on the roads of Poole with residents in Sandbanks making their feelings clear about the new measures.

A trial scheme has seen vehicles banned from entering and exiting Poole Park after it was launched on January 17.

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council said the changes would be kept in place until it has reviewed feedback from local residents.

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Cyclist and cars on the road

The move is being made to support 'active and sustainable travel' (stock image)


The route is often used as a cut-through for people during rush hour looking to avoid busier roads in the centre of the town.

Councillor Andy Hadley, BCP Council’s cabinet member responsible for the environment, said reducing traffic in Poole Park would benefit users and wildlife.

He added: “The park also plays an important role in the council's active travel network and this proposal aligns with our commitment to promote active and sustainable travel, and support everyone to live active and healthy lives.

"I would encourage people who do use the park to experience these changes before the middle of February and see for themselves the difference this trial closure may make to their daily lives,” the BBC reported.

However, the scheme has been hit with anger from drivers in the town who say they are being forced to wait in long queues of traffic.

One resident, Pauline Monk, said the road along Poole Park was used to get to Sandbanks Road and Shore Road.

She added: “Now we have to squeeze into the queue of traffic waiting to get to the Civic Centre and then have to join a long queue taking it in turns to go through the railway bridge along Sandbanks Road.

“So, more irritation, more delay, potentially more accidents, and more petrol being used up as we wait in stationary cars to navigate these blockages. So much for cutting the carbon footprint.

“In the meantime, the park is nearly empty and a perfectly good road to avoid these pressure points has been blocked off,” she told the Daily Mail.

Pauline Monk added that traffic could be made even worse in the summer if the measures are still in place, given the number of tourists and attractions taking place.

Other residents have complained that their commute has been ruined as the road provided a peaceful view of the scenery in the park.

Councillor Andy Hadley confirmed that the move to restrict traffic in Poole Park was not part of an “anti-car agenda”.



Residents in the area have complained of the longer waiting times during rush hour


He continued, saying: “There is a challenge on our roads about the dominance of the car. Cars are getting bigger and there's more of them.”

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