RESIDENTS gathered in a Poole road to hold a street party support the council’s active travel scheme.

BCP Council has implemented a number of “experimental traffic orders”, including closing Churchfield Road to through traffic, and has received a lot of backlash as a result.

However, around 50 residents on Churchfield Road gathered at a social distance on Sunday to thank the council for the measures introduced.

Resident Kate Salter, 41, said: “Our road has become an increasingly busy and dangerous rat run and we’ve campaigned over the years for changes to be made and they haven’t been.

“This has given us an opportunity to see if changes that have been but in place will benefit in the way that we think they will.

“There’s been two accidents on the road, one serious involving three cars and another involving a cyclist.

“Bearing in mind it’s a residential road, that’s obviously a concern.

“Everybody struggles with change and fundamentally it’s about small sacrifices for the greater good.

“It’s about choosing community over individual requirements and actually we’re talking about a diversion of 0.7 miles which, on average at 15mph takes less than three minutes.”

BCP Council has been indicatively awarded around £1.4million from the government’s recent emergency active travel fund to support people cycling and walking as the country emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Churchfield Road is one of a number of roads to be affected by the experimental measures, which will last an initial six months.

Ms Salter continued: “It’s made the road safer. We’ve had more vulnerable road users using the road more often.

“It’s a quieter road so that’s given us a chance as neighbours to have more social contact which is reducing social isolation.

“It’s healthier because there’s less air pollution.”

Mandy Burt, 54, another resident, added: “We’re really hoping that it will encourage other neighbourhoods to do the same.

“Other busy rat runs, the residents can do as we’ve done, get together and campaign for their road to become residential and low-traffic neighbourhoods.

“It’s so great for us families with little kids, when we used to walk or cycle to school, it was really scary in the mornings.

“At peak times we’d have traffic up behind us trying to cut into us.

“We’d like to really thank BCP Council for considering our road to be a low traffic neighbourhood and we’d ask them to take our views and our comments into consideration to make this permanent fixture.”

Residents took to the street with signs thanking the council, however there was still a couple of people campaigning to reopen the road to through traffic.