WORK has started on new crossing across one of the busiest roads in Poole.

The toucan crossing is being constructed on the A350 Holes Bay Road, as part of wider BCP Council plans to make it easier for cyclists and pedestrians to travel.

It will take up to 16 weeks to complete and motorists have been warned to expect delays.

Situated just 60 metres south of the Holes Bay roundabout, the crossing is already at a point which is used by many cyclists and pedestrians to get across the busy dual carriageway.

BCP council officials say more than 400 cyclists and 200 pedestrians already cross the road at that point daily.

Speaking after the toucan crossing plans were first unveiled, BCP Council transport member Cllr Mike Greene, said: "As part of the council’s wider transport policy to promote sustainable travel, this crossing link has been identified as requiring improvement in order to help cyclists and pedestrians cross this very busy dual carriageway safely and follows a decision to reduce the speed limit from 50mph to 40mph in 2018."

Officials say the project, to build the staggered crossing, will only cause 'minimal disruption' for motorists – although the dual carriageway is on a major route in and out of the conurbation and the port of Poole.

A BCP Council spokesman said: "To minimise disruption, a majority of the works will be undertaken off peak with only localised lane narrowing and potentially a Sunday night closure in February or March.

"During the works, the existing crossing will be maintained as much as possible but may occasionally be inaccessible to pedestrians and cyclists.

"When this is the case, a signed diversion route will direct users to the existing crossing at Sterte Avenue West.

"Disruption should be minimal but we would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused."

Temporary carriageway restrictions will be in place from January 13 up until April 23.

Cllr Greene said: "The exact location and design of the crossing has been carefully considered to be as safe as possible for those crossing on bicycle or foot, whilst providing adequate sight lines for approaching motorists.

“The design has also been the subject of an independent road safety audit.

“This area is part of the Holes Bay Heritage Trail and the National Cycling Network 25 and installing this crossing will enable all users to continue to enjoy these trails more safely in the future.”