RESIDENTS of a Gillingham estate say their area has been “totally forgotten”, as a new cycle path continues to be built along the main road.

Roadworks along Le Neubourg Way, led by Dorset Council, started in January, including cycleway construction, new traffic lights and changes to the Waitrose junction.

However, residents of neighbouring estate Church View raised their concerns during Monday’s full council meeting, highlighting that when drivers turn right from their road into Le Neubourg Way, they will need to cross a cycle path as well as two lanes of cars.

Issues of speed limits, traffic and plant removal were also addressed.

Anne Kings described the works as “a poorly thought out plan”, adding: “I think there are quite a lot of things that need to be put in place to make this safe, because it looks like Church View has been totally forgotten.”

Talking about the “dangerous” site during the Gillingham Town Council meeting, resident Anne added: “We are going to find it extremely difficult to turn right as we pull out of this area because of this cycle path right along in front of us.

"Even if we look out for the cars, cyclists still have right of way there.

“Nothing has been carried forward [from the public review] and we think that is quite bad because actually, the plan at the public review would have worked for us. But, things got changed and no one was actually told.”

Echoing the same concerns as Anne, resident Jackie Adams also urged for 30mph signage to be introduced to the main road to remind drivers of the speed limit, and that signage should be installed at the point where cyclists can join the pathway, to give other pedestrians warning.

The removal of trees was the final issue raised by residents, who say they are now affected by the lights and noise coming from the main road which was previously blocked.

Jane Price said: “We’re never going to get that privacy again”, later adding: “We were the guinea pigs and it’s an absolute disaster. I don’t think in our lifetime we’ll get that screening again.”

While the town council has no authority or power to change the roadworks, councillors widely shared and understood the views of the residents.

Councillor Val Pothecary said: “I am obviously concerned, none of us like unhappy residents.

“I have forwarded everything I have received by way of a complaint or concerns to Emma Baker, the highways engineer, who knows the post more than anybody.”

She added: “Most of us hate change, most of us hate the disruption to our lives when anything like this is going on.

“It is not the end of the line, we are listening and we are trying our best while wanting improved facilities for Gillingham, cycling lanes and the traffic lights at Waitrose have been welcomed.”

While Cllr Sharon Cullingford said she was “concerned” about traffic building in the area, councillors felt that the newly installed traffic lights could prevent motorists from speeding.

It was approved that the notes from the meeting would be passed on to the traffic management working party, to work in conjunction with Cllr Pothecary in her second role as a Dorset councillor.

Cllr Barry von Clemens added there was “a good line of communication between the town council and Dorset Council” and that the highways authority assured it will monitor the road once works were completed.