A SCHEME designed to make Bournemouth’s Richmond Hill roundabout more cycle-friendly could end up creating new accident blackspots, it is claimed.

Cyclists have expressed their dismay at some aspects of the scheme and have urged council bosses to make alterations before it is too late.

Work will start on Monday and will see traffic lights installed on the roundabout and at the exit from the westbound slip road.

Mike Chalkley, a former chair of the Bournemouth Cycling Forum, said the slip road lights would help prevent accidents.

But he said the plan to have a cycle lane in between two lanes of traffic on the northbound approach from Wimborne Road could put cyclists “in conflict” with motorists.

“Cyclists will have to move between the two lanes of traffic on the northern approach and after you go round the roundabout there will be another point of conflict with cars wanting to go left into Richmond Gardens and cyclists wanting to go straight on.

“They’ve eliminated one point of conflict but created two new ones as a result of these lanes.”

And Jason Falconer, right, a cycling coach who teaches schoolchildren to ride safely, agreed: “It’s great they are going to slow down the traffic on the slip road but there needs to be a bit more done to the scheme.

“Cyclists will have to ride assertively if they are going to get from the advanced stop line to go down Richmond Hill and a lot of riders, especially new ones, will not be able to do that.”

John Satchwell, road safety manager at Bournemouth council, said: “We welcome constructive feedback on our design proposals but must ultimately progress what on balance we consider to be the most appropriate solution. In this instance our primary aim was to address conflict between cyclists and vehicles emerging from the slip road.”

He said they would review the cycle lane on the Wimborne Road approach but said this layout had been used successfully before.

“This particular proposal was submitted as a bid for funds from the Department for Transport Cycle Safety Fund. It was scrutinised by the Sustrans cycle design team, who sent a representative to visit the site and discuss proposals with us, before recommending the scheme for funding.

“As per our normal practice the proposals have also been independently safety audited.”