A CYCLIST has urged the council to think again about “distracting” signs on a roundabout where he suffered a broken neck in an horrendous accident.

Graham Walker, 58, from Corfe Mullen was involved in a collision with a car on Wingreen roundabout in the village back in February 2011. It left him with a broken neck, damaged shoulder and back and his ear almost completely severed.

The roundabout is now included in Dorset County Council’s roundabout sponsorship scheme.

Graham, who has on-going treatment for the still painful injuries which forced him to give up work as a tennis coach, said, he fears the signs will prove yet another dangerous distraction for motorists.

“They are there to catch people’s attention and take away from what they should be doing,” he added.

“There is enough to do on a roundabout concentrating on traffic without the added distraction of advertising.”

Graham was speaking from bitter experience when he added: “I wasn’t seen. The next time someone might not be seen because a driver was looking at the adverts or maybe even trying to take a note of the telephone number on the bottom of them. I wouldn’t want that on my conscience.”

Mike Winter, head of highways management at Dorset County Council, said: “While we’re sorry to hear about this accident, it must be stressed there was no sponsorship board on Corfe Mullen roundabout when it took place.

“There is currently no evidence to suggest that such boards create any more of a distraction than other signs.”

Dorset County Council with Suffolk-based Marketing Force launched a roundabout sponsorship scheme in the summer, installing signs on 54 roundabouts around the county and urging businesses to buy the advertising space. The scheme is expected to bring in £100,000 a year to the council.

The signs have had some criticism based on their appearance, concerns about safety, and over the issue that some of the roundabouts in question were being maintained by parish councils.

The scheme is currently on hold subject to an application for retrospective planning permission after the legality of the signs was challenged at district and borough council level.