THERE is no denying that Poole traffic manager Steve Tite has had an impact on the town he moved to 30 years ago.

The Londoner, who came to the town to take up a job as assistant engineer at Poole Council in 1984, arrived straight into a controversial major project that changed the face of the town.

“One of the first jobs I came down to was the pedestrianisation and repaving of the High Street – which resulted in a public enquiry,” he said.

Many shopkeepers were not happy with the idea and feared a loss of trade and difficulties with deliveries, he recalled.

Turning the quay from a “big wide road” into a one-way paved route was another project that was controversial at the time, but, along with the busy high street, has proved its worth.

“I have left my mark,” said Steve, who has retired from Borough of Poole at the age of 60, having acted as transportation chief before current boss Julian McLaughlin was appointed. He recalled what the town was like when he arrived. It was a time when he addressed his boss as “sir”.

“Poole was a very different place. It was a really sleepy town. I never thought when I came, I would be retiring from here,” he said. Married to Vicki, with one daughter and two sons, he wants to travel and enjoy leisure before doing voluntary work.

Among many schemes he was involved with was one that received national publicity on Trevor McDonald’s Waste Watchers TV programme.

Featured was a short stretch of the Sandbanks cycleway that ran from Turks Lane to the top of Evening Hill. “They called it ‘the cycle way to nowhere’,” he said. “We completed it a few years ago from Evening Hill to the Sandbanks ferry and it is one of the busiest routes we’ve got.”

From the Fleetsbridge roundabout traffic lights to the 50mph speed limit on Dorset Way, the town centre gyratory to the Olympic torch route and spending Local Sustainable Transport Fund money, he has helped change the town.

“It’s been very challenging but looking back, it has been quite rewarding. I like to think it’s a better place,” he said.