WARD councillors are split over the controversial decision to reopen a Poole road to traffic, with one describing the decision as “inconsistent”.

Oakdale ward councillor Dr Felicity Rice said she was at a “complete loss” over the decision to reopen Tatnam Road in Poole.

The trialled closure came after a 20mph scheme failed to slow traffic.

However, Parkstone councillor Ann Stribley says the decision was made to “represent the views” of around 80 per cent of people who wanted the road to reopen after a consultation period.

Cllr Rice said: “I am at a complete loss to understand why cabinet decided to go against their own officers and transport portfolio holder on the Tatnam Road decision and make it dangerous for children again.

“For over 20 years, the council and residents have been trying to make this particular road safer because out of all the roads in Poole, it has a particularly bad record for crashes.

“Now, despite having financial support from the government, it being consistent with all national and local policies, with vocal support from two local headteachers, ward councillors, residents and equalities impacts, it is being removed.

“This type of inconsistent decision making is why our roads in Poole and Bournemouth are consistently ranked within the most dangerous in the country.

“We don’t have to have roads as dangerous as we have, but in order to create any change, our council needs to be consistent with policy and protecting children, if we are going to prevent more children from dying on our roads.”

Tatnam Road, on the edge of Oakdale and Poole town, saw nine incidents dealt with by police between 2017 and 2019.

Offering the alternate view, Cllr Stribley asserted the road closure “seriously affected” travel in the area.

She said: “Ward councillors are meant to represent the views of residents and the consultation of Tatnam Road saw 80 per cent against the closure.

“This is in response to many residents in road but also residents in adjacent roads who were seriously affected and had to make vast detours.”

She added: “If we could all have our roads as closed cul-de-sacs we all would, but then we wouldn’t be able to go anywhere.

“If the residents of Tatnam Road can honestly say they never make detours down residential roads then I’d be with them, but I don’t think they can say that.

“A decision has been made with the views of the majority. I guess that’s democracy.”