ANGRY residents have accused a group of councillors of “playing Russian Roulette” with their lives following a decision to review its closure to traffic.

Tatnam Road in Poole was previously earmarked by council officers as one of the key routes for possible closure after a 20mph scheme failed to slow traffic.

Between 2017 and 2019 there had been nine accidents dealt with by the police and residents had long complained it was being used as a rat-run by speeding drivers.

However, a 9-5 vote at Monday’s overview and scrutiny board agreed that the decision to close the road should be referred to a cabinet meeting for review on December 15.

Campaigners and councillors, however, have branded the decision a “travesty”, citing a “dramatic improvement” in residents' safety as justification for the closure to remain.

One resident, who did not want to be named, said: “If the closure is reversed, we would like to know who to hold accountable when there’s a fatality.

“It seems there was a very flippant reaction in this meeting. Lots has happened over 20 years to try and reduce speeding and the closure has been the only successful outcome.

“Reducing the speed limit from 30mph to 20mph made absolutely no difference and while we appreciated the effort that went in, people still drove dangerously.

“The closure has been positive as more people are using the road for cycling, dog walking and children walking to school – lifestyles were changing.”

Bournemouth Echo: Tatnam Road Conservative leafletTatnam Road Conservative leaflet

They added: “They are playing Russian Roulette with the lives of the Tatnam Road residents, all for the sake of trying to remain popular with outlying voter areas.”

Cllr Andy Hadley, who called the decision a “travesty”, said he had more complaints about aggressive driving in Tatnam Road than “any other” in his ward.

The decision to shut the road at its junction with Sterte Road and Stanley Green Road is said to have resulted in longer journey times and increased congestion, according to campaigners for the road to be re-opened.

A group of Poole Conservatives, who pushed for the closure to be reviewed, released a campaign to residents and described the closure as “unpopular and unhelpful”.

But Cllr Vikki Slade described the situation as a “farce”, telling the Echo: “The Poole councillors went against public opinion. I knew when we walked in the room (on Monday) what the outcome would be.

“It’s so political and they really undermined the process to close the road in the first place.

“You can’t just use this process to throw your toys out the pram and the eventual decision will have a huge impact on how we all campaign going forward. Too many people are worried about votes in the next election and not about what our community will look like in five to 10 years time.”