MOTORISTS have been warned of "significant disruption" as work to a major Poole road begins this morning.

Wimborne Road will close southbound between the New Inn and the George roundabout from today until Thursday, March 29.

The road will be resurfaced, and a new 'school zone' created between Tatnam Road and Serpentine Road for Poole High School.

The cost of the works, expected to reach some £750,000, will be funded through the Department for Transport's challenge fund programme.

Engineers will incorporate a series of 'enhancements' to improve the carriageway for all road users.

Richard Pincroft, traffic manager for the Borough of Poole, said: “These major improvements to Wimborne Road are part of the council’s ongoing 'challenge fund' programme aimed at improving key routes in Poole.

“We appreciate that these improvements will cause significant disruption to road users and would ask motorists to allow extra time for their journeys, or use an alternative route or method of travel if possible.”

Phase one of the resurfacing work to Wimborne Road will begin at 7am today. To help traffic flow, one lane will remain open to vehicles. The southbound lane from the New Inn to the George roundabout will be closed for the duration of the works.

Southbound traffic will not be able to turn right at New Inn and travel down Wimborne Road towards the George roundabout.

Motorists travelling north from the George roundabout towards the New Inn but will have to carry on to the Dorchester Road/Vicarage Road traffic signals before being able to turn right.

For safety reasons the side road junctions adjoining Wimborne Road will also be closed for the duration of the works.

This will include Tatnam Road, Garland Road, Stokes Avenue, Haynes Avenue, Winterbourne Road, Sandbourne Road and Heckford Road.

Councillor Ian Potter, cabinet portfolio holder for planning, regeneration and transportation, said: “The extra funding from the government has given us an opportunity to put much-needed investment into our road network ensuring they remain fit for purpose. These improvements form part of our extensive road resurfacing programme which is responding to residents’ requests to improve roads and pavements in Poole.

"Hopefully road users will understand that there will be disruption for a few weeks and take the appropriate action giving themselves more time for travel or using other forms of transport. We all look forward to the completion of these works and seeing a much improved road surface."

During the works, the main diversion route for southbound traffic wanting to get to the George roundabout is via Fernside Road, the Civic gyratory and Parkstone Road.

Drivers heading south from Gravel Hill will be encouraged to travel via Cabot Lane or Fleets Lane/Willis Way onto Holes Bay Road.

Buses will continue to operate northbound on Wimborne Road some bus stops will be unavailable at times when the resurfacing crew is working nearby.

Phase two of the resurfacing work will start from 7.30am on Monday, March 19 until 4pm on Thursday, March 29. The work will start at the Fleetsbridge roundabout progressing south towards Dorchester Road/Vicarage Road signal junction stopping at Daisy Close.

This work will be done using 'stop and go' two-way traffic management and some delays are to be expected.

The southbound lane from Wimborne Road off-slip from Fleetsbridge roundabout to Bailey Crescent will be closed overnight from 7.30pm on Monday, March 19 until 6am on Tuesday, March 20.

Phase three - resurfacing between the traffic signal junctions at New Inn and Oakdale - will be undertaken as a separate piece of work later in the year.