A councillor in Gillingham has raised fears that the new main road or ‘principal street’ through the planned Southern Extension development could become a rat run for drivers.
Councillor Mike Gould spoke just hours before Dorset Council gave the final go ahead for the new road which will link the B3081 Shaftesbury Road with the B3092 to the Stours.
Speaking at a town council planning committee meeting on Monday Councillor Gould, while supporting the scheme, said: ‘My concern about this road is that it will become a rat run though I know that efforts are being made to ensure that it does not. It does cut a corner for people going to the Stours. ‘
The councillor also raised wider concerns about the environment posed by the new road, and whether enough provision had been made for cyclists and pedestrians who will use it on the new development.
‘In view of the green aspect and the fact that we are trying to protect the world at the moment from the devastation we are causing, this is probably another example of supporting devastation,’ said Councillor Gould at the online meeting.
‘I’m just a little concerned about the road from the point of view of the pedestrian and cyclist, who do not cause problems to our world. The car does. And unfortunately people will fall into their motor car just to go on a 5-minute trip up the road.’
He added: ‘It is important we get this right. Because once we’ve done it will have to live with it.’
The committee, which backed the road scheme, heard that there would be provision on the road for bus stops.
Committee chair Councillor Val Pothecary agreed that Dorset Council ‘needed reminding’ that this was an important issue for Gillingham.
And on Tuesday Councillor Pothecary, who is also a Dorset councillor, raised the issue of pedestrians and cyclists at the online meeting of Dorset’s northern area planning committee which approved the plans for the new road.
The council heard that the road, whose work is being funded by Homes England, could ‘potentially speed up housing delivery’ at the site where up to 1,800 homes are due to be built. The principal street is expected to be finished by March 2022 at the latest.