A ROAD in Poole could be closed at a busy junction following complaints from residents it is being used as a rat run.

A petition signed by 125 people has prompted the council to investigate the proposal of fully closing Playfields Drive at its junction with Alder Road. An alternative option to ban right turns at the junction will also be looked at.

The matter will be discussed at a meeting of the council’s Transport Advisory Group (TAG) on Thursday.

The petition, submitted in June, requested urgent action “to address the traffic problems in Recreation Road and Playfields Drive: speed, congestion and driving without due care and attention”.

The petition was followed up with several suggestions from residents, including: banning the right turn from Playfields Drive onto Alder Road; making Playfields Drive ‘no entry’ from Alder Road; closing Recreation Road at Alder Road, and closing Recreation Road just before the junction with Library Road.

Locals have complained Playfields Drive and Recreation Road are being used as a “rat run by commuters trying to shave a few minutes off [their journeys] because traffic does not flow properly on Herbert Avenue, Alder Road, Ashley Road, and further afield”.

They argue the 20mph roads are dangerous for pedestrians, and that speed humps “have not proved effective” in reducing careless driving.

They say during the rush hour it has taken residents up to 20 minutes to get out of their drive.

Julian McLaughlin, Borough of Poole’s head of growth and infrastructure, considered residents’ requests in a report to councillors.

He dismissed the proposal to make changes at the Recreation Road junction with Alder Road as “this is the main access into the largely residential part of Upper Parkstone from the east”.

He added: “There is no accident record to indicate that specific action is needed. Any closure would increase the amount of traffic using the other roads in this area, as local residents would have to divert through other roads.”

However, he is recommending councillors support an investigation into fully closing Playfields Drive at the Alder Road junction, along with the option of banning right turns, as there has been two accidents in the last three years.

“Surveys indicate that traffic volumes are significantly higher in Playfields Drive than they have been in the past,” he said in the report to the TAG.

“A full closure of this junction would likely address the accidents that have been reported here and potentially improve traffic flows along Alder Road.”

However, he said there would likely be objections to a road closure which would “force local residents to take longer journeys when leaving or returning to their homes”.

“There would also be a need to accommodate turning manoeuvres at the closure point, and to address any concerns from the emergency services,” he said.

He added: “A banned turn would not physically stop persons from undertaking this manoeuvre and would be difficult to enforce, and a No Entry would not address the fact that the accidents were related to vehicles emerging from Playfields Drive.”