BUSINESSES in Wimborne have welcomed the stalling of a ‘daft’ £5.7million revamp of the notorious Canford Bottom roundabout on the A31.

Concerned business owners are breathing a sigh of relief after Transport ministers put the Highways Agency’s nine-month scheme for the traffic hotspot between Wimborne and Ferndown on hold, Wimborne Business Improvement District Director Martin Tidd said.

Following an appeal from MPs Annette Brooke and Chris Chope about a lack of information over the effects on local routes, it has been deferred until the Highways Agency can provide more information.

Mr Tidd said: “The day before the deferral business people from Ferndown and Wimborne were invited to an information meeting.

“There was quite a lot of anger because we hadn’t been asked or been able to contribute. We know that roundabout well and it was felt that this scheme does not answer the question of congestion, which starts at Merley.”

Engineers were due to start work next month on transforming Canford Bottom into a six-arm ‘hamburger’ junction in time for the Olympic events in Weymouth in 2012.

Designs include 70 sets of traffic lights, which can be controlled using CCTV.

Drivers on the A31 would be fed through the roundabout.

Mr Tidd said: “The attitude was this is daft, it’s just a sticking plaster on a big scheme that needs to be done in the future.”

The BID group, representing 400 businesses in Wimborne, is calling for a proper alternative.

This includes the A31 Wimborne bypass being turned into a dual carriageway.

Ms Brooke, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, is to attend a BID meeting on Thursday to discuss the issues involved.

Since the deferral announcement, the Highways Agency team has posted analysis of the impact of the work on the internet.

They predict ‘significant reduction in average queue length’, such as cutting delays along Ham Lane at peak morning times from 36 seconds to 21.7 seconds.