PROTESTERS gathered in Bournemouth and Poole this morning to voice their anger over experimental road schemes.

Numerous roads are expected to be blocked off tomorrow, just days after residents found out about the plans.

Frustrated householders said they were not consulted and that the closures will make traffic and congestion worse instead of better.

The schemes are designed to encourage safer walking and cycling.

From tomorrow, only buses and bicycles will be permitted to exit Birds Hill Road onto Longfleet Road in Poole, while Churchfield Road will also become a no through road.

Stanley Green Road will see closures implemented at three junctions, with through traffic prevented on Tatnam Road, Wimborne Road and on the one-way section westbound at Vicarage Road.

In Bournemouth, an experimental junction closure will be implemented on Windham Road at its junction with Ashley Road in Springbourne.

Both are strongly opposed by residents and scores of people gathered at Windham Road and Vicarage Road today to protest.

In Bournemouth, Amanda Cuffley said closing off the junction will lead to congestion in other parts of Boscombe and make traffic worse in Holdenhurst Road and Ashley Road.

"There is going to be standstill traffic causing more pollution" she said. "People who normally use Windham Road as a relief road will all have to go on to Holdenhurst Road."

Nic Ethridge added: "It has not been thought through. There has been no consultation and I don't think the traffic's even been monitored to see if it is necessary."

Mandy Norris runs the Cherries Cafe in Curzon Road. She said: "Most of our passing trade comes from people driving along Windham Road. People won't bother to come any more because it will be too hard to get to the cafe."

Banners carried by protesters read: "Say no to this junction closure", "I am angry" and "Calming not closures."

A statement on the Active Travel schemes page of BCP council’s website says: "We are taking action to help create a sustainable environment locally.

"We are implementing trial measures as part of a wider effort to support the safe reopening of the local economy and encourage walking and cycling following a significant increase in experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This in turn resulted in welcome reductions in traffic. These measures are funded by the government's emergency active travel fund.

"Some of these schemes are being implemented under experimental traffic regulation orders allowing residents, businesses and visitors the opportunity experience the changes and to comment on them before a decision is made on whether to make each scheme permanent.

"Under these orders, there is a very short turnaround, including seven-working days to develop and submit a programme with proposals to be installed on the ground within 12 weeks."