BCP Council has again defended its decision to reopen Keyhole Bridge to motor traffic after new legal proceedings were brought against them.

As reported, Cycling UK has issued court proceedings against the council after it stood by its move to reopen the narrow underpass in Poole Park, which the charity says was “unlawful”.

The authority, which previously lost a judicial review over the decision to curtail a public consultation on the closure, stood by its stance on the issue – citing policy and economic impacts.

In response to Cycling UK’s action, a BCP Council spokesperson said: “The decision to keep Whitecliff Road open to all traffic through Keyhole Bridge was made after carefully reviewing the policy context, all consultation responses, and the likely impact on the area.

Bournemouth Echo: Keyhole Bridge.Keyhole Bridge.

“In making this decision Cabinet considered the views of all those who use this route for travel to work, school, or leisure, as well as the views of local ward councillors and all other evidence, including the assessment reports appended to the Cabinet report.

“These reports included an economic assessment which indicated that to permanently close Whitecliff Road to motor vehicles would have a negative overall economic impact, due to increased traffic and congestion on the alternative routes along with a wide range of other positive and negative outcomes.

“On balance Cabinet considered that the benefits of retaining the access as it is outweighed the benefits of closing it to vehicular traffic.”

The economic report has been challenged independent experts KMC Transport Planning which said pedestrianisation of the underpass would provide a positive financial impact.