FURIOUS motorists who have lost patience with Poole’s traffic troubles are taking it out on road workers, the borough says.

Staff have been shouted at, sworn at and, in a new low, the abuse has escalated to physical attacks, says the council, which has now involved the police.

Incidents have included verbal abuse and staff being pushed, and two instances of cars ignoring signage and driving into the cordoned working area.

Kate Langdown, street scene services manager, said: “There have been a couple of minor incidents where council staff and contractors have been subject to abuse from members of the public and these incidents have been reported to the police.”

She said the council understood public frustration over rolling lane closures and the impact on local lives and that they were trying to complete work ‘as quickly and safely as possible’. However, she warned: “Any further incidents will also be reported to the police.”

The borough is currently in the middle of an extensive road and infrastructure improvement programme with £840,000 being spent on B3068 Blandford Road.

On Sunday work began to resurface Blandford Road between Rigler Road and Beccles Close, closing the entire section to traffic in both directions, in an effort to minimise impact on schools during this week.

To add to the misery, Wessex Water then suffered a severe water leak in Blandford Road and put in temporary traffic controls while they repaired it.

Blandford Road resident Karen Duggan witnessed frustrated drivers turning round in the road, with the queue of traffic backed up from the traffic lights outside the Co-op store to Upton.

“You couldn’t get out of Hamworthy,” she said. “We went to the boot sale at the stadium but had to go the long way round because traffic was just solid, those poor people weren’t going anywhere.”

After returning from her trip she decided not to go out again because the queues, she claimed, were moving ‘at a rate of one foot every minute’.

Karen, who works in Bournemouth, said it takes around an hour to travel to work each day because traffic in the area is so bad. “Who decided it would be a good idea to hold up traffic at Hamworthy?” she asked. “It’s all so unnecessary and I just want Borough of Poole to sit up and take notice. They don’t put any thought into anything, they are just blundering along blindly.”

Her comments mirror those unleashed on the council’s Facebook page over the weekend, with several posters branding the council ‘a joke’.

Councillor Ian Potter, cabinet member for transportation, said: “We have responded to our residents’ requests to improve roads and pavements by embarking on an extensive road resurfacing programme throughout Poole.

“We appreciate there is never a good time to carry out such works, but this investment is essential to ensure our roads remain fit for purpose which ultimately benefits all road users.”

Preparation works to enable resurfacing in the New Year will begin between Rigler Road and the port on Monday, December 4.

The work will be carried out from 9.30am to 4.30pm and during this time stop/go boards will be used to manage traffic, said a council spokesman.

The works are a part of the 2017/18 Local Transport Plan capital programme which was boosted by a further £2.9 million in August 2017, with funding from the Department for Transport’s Challenge Fund.

However, the council says this funding must be spent by the end of March 2018 so the schemes are happening one after another to maximise the investment in the timescale allowed.