TRANSPORT bosses have agreed to save the Dunyeats Roundabout as part of a £350,000 project at a busy Poole junction.
Borough of Poole's (BOP) Transport Advisory Group approved plans to revamp the Dunyeats Road/Gravel Hill junction, which is linked to the wider £4.3 million Gravel Hill improvement project scheduled to start this summer.
Unpopular proposals to remove the existing roundabout at Dunyeats Road and install traffic signals have been abandoned.
More than 3,000 people signed a petition, organised by the Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum, calling for the roundabout to be saved.
They argued the roundabout's removal would lead to even longer queues at peak times
Forum chairman, and BOP Lib Dem group leader Cllr Mike Brooke said: "We are delighted with the public response to the petition and also we are very pleased with this recommendation. Now the roundabout will be protected and preserved."
Poole's busy A349 Gravel Hill will close to traffic for three months later this year, and motorists have been warned to expect "considerable inconvenience" when the project to stabilise the embankment gets underway.
The Dunyeats Road junction upgrade is an integral part of the overall eight-month project.
During a Civic Centre meeting, last week, advisory group members recommended forging ahead with option one - which was one of three on the table.
Now it will be up to the council's transportation member Cllr Drew Mellor to officially rubber-stamp the decision.
Option one includes retaining the roundabout and widening the shared footpath and cycleway on the north west corner of the junction.
It also includes:
* a Toucan crossing across Dunyeats Road.
* Narrowing of traffic lanes to assist pedestrians and realignment of some
* Realignment of the south bound approach on Gravel Hill north and
installation of a Toucan crossing across Gravel Hill.
* Potential provision of a woodland link path to the bridle way and entrance to
* Partial realignment of the kerbed entrance to the crematorium
* Minor alterations to some line markings and help balance lane usage.
On the overall Gravel Hill project, borough engineering manager John Rice explained: "We are aware that the Gravel Hill embankment has deteriorated over recent years despite regular maintenance.
"We are constantly assessing the embankment to ensure it is safe, but if we don’t carry out the works the embankment will at some point fail, resulting in this busy road being closed.
"We are also looking to improve the reliability of journey times from the A31 to the Port of Poole and Poole town centre."
For most of the project a one-way road closure will be in operation, but for up to three months the road will close fully.
Around £3.9 million of the funding was secured from the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, with the remainder funded by BOP.