CONTROVERSIAL plans to install traffic lights on a busy Christchurch road have been abandoned after criticism from community leaders.

It’s been confirmed that the £140,000 proposal from Dorset County Council to put traffic lights either side of the railway bridge on Stony Lane in Burton will now not go ahead.

It was due to start on March but was postponed earlier this year and has now been officially called off.

Protests had been made by Burton Parish Council as well as borough and county councillors, with a petition set-up by residents in opposition to the Three Towns Travel project.

Now, engineers are looking at merely widening the existing path, which they believe will also deal with surface water on the carriageway to keep the road under the bridge clear.

Burton Parish Council chairman Judy Jamieson said: “We’re just delighted that the county council have listened to the residents of Burton and completely shelved the idea of the unnecessary traffic lights.

“Hopefully the pavement will be widened and that will help the recurrent flooding issues in that part of Stony Lane.”

County councillor David Jones said the decision was a “tremendous victory for common sense”.

“This reflects the philosophy not of telling people what they need, but asking them what they want”, he added.

“I am very grateful for the support of the parish council and the borough councillors not just for Burton but for the neighbouring wards and I am delighted that this wasteful and irrelevant scheme which would have caused massive disruption has now been abandoned.”

A Dorset County Council spokesman said: “We have responded to concerns from the local community and have decided to abandon the traffic light scheme on Stony Lane.

“Instead we are looking to marginally widen the existing path to allow pedestrians to go under the bridge safely and for two non HGV vehicles to pass, without the need for signal controls.”