PLANS for a zebra crossing in Upton are set to be approved, despite objections from residents living closest to the proposed location.

Dorset County Council’s regulatory committee is being recommended to give the green light for the scheme for a crossing on Dorchester Road opposite Upton Methodist Church.

A £38,000 budget has been allocated for the project which is felt will reduce the impact of a “severance” of the town caused by the main road passing through its centre.

The proposal was put forward by Lytchett Minster and Upton Town Council four years ago due to concerns about the safety of children trying to cross the road.

Cllr June Richards, the council’s mayor, said that the crossing was needed to improve the safety for children getting over the road.

“Dorchester Road is very busy – particularly at school pick-up and drop-off times and during the rush hour – and this section is used by children coming from the play school at the church and from the junior school.

“We were originally approached by a resident and we decided to put a proposal to the county council.

“Nothing can be more important than the safety of children and there are only two other crossings on the entire road.”

County councillor for Lytchett Minster and Upton, Bill Pipe, said that crossing idea had also been supported by the schools.

"There had been a lot of calls from parents for a crossing there," he said. "It's a very busy road, particularly when the bypass is closed, and a new crossing has long been needed."

Despite support from the town council and being backed by county council traffic officers, residents living closest to the proposed have “strenuously objected” to the scheme, saying that it will increase pollution and prevent them from being able to park outside their homes.

One resident said: “It is totally unacceptable and not needed as a perfectly acceptable light-controlled crossing is only 260 metres away.

“A central refuge as discussed before by the town council would have been completely acceptable.”

Three options were considered by the county council for crossings – a pedestrian refuge and zebra crossing either side of the junction of Sea View Road – with the crossing to the east of the junction judged to be the best option.

A report to the county council’s regulatory committee says: “The zebra crossing would provide a safe crossing point for all pedestrians and, in particular, children on their route to/from school on this busy main road.

“Having considered the objections submitted as part of the consultation process, officers feel that the position of the crossing in relation to the properties will have a negligible impact on residents’ amenity value.”

The committee is being recommended to approve the scheme at its meeting on Thursday.