CAMPAIGNERS are calling on a developer to 'protect' them by amending multi-million-pound 'death trap' plans to upgrade a busy road.

Waterside Cycling Action Group (WCAG) wants a signal-controlled facility to be installed on the A326 near Dibden to protect walkers, horse riders and people exploring the area on two wheels.

WCAG members say they fear proposed £8m changes to the Applemore roundabout will turn it into a death trap.

Hampshire County Council is planning to upgrade several junctions on the A326 including the roundabout, where approaches and exit lanes will be widened.

The £8m scheme aims to help the road cope with extra traffic generated by new housing, including the 1,500 homes due to be built by Fawley Waterside on the old Fawley power station site.

Hythe and Dibden Parish Council is backing calls for a crossing to be built about 70 metres south of Applemore.

Campaigners say it would enable people to leave the Waterside area and enter the New Forest National Park without having to dodge fast traffic.

Malcolm Wade, county councillor for Hythe and Dibden, said he had already approached highway engineers.

A crossing was installed beside the nearby Heath roundabout in 2006 following a campaign by Irene Plascott and other locals. The £73,000 facility was provided following a fatal accident involving an 83-year-old dog walker.

District councillor Stephanie Osborne said: “Without people like Irene we would not be able to cross the A326 at all.

"The Pegasus crossing is used by numerous people every day. It is approved for walkers and horse riders but currently needs changes to allow for cyclists.

“Now WCAG have highlighted the need for Applemore to have the same type of crossing as the current route is an accident waiting to happen."

Cllr Rob Humby is deputy leader of the county council and executive member for economy, transport and the environment.

He said: "Hampshire County Council’s successful bid to the Government’s Active Travel Fund resulted in £3.28m being awarded for a range of measures across Hampshire to create better spaces for walking and cycling in local communities."

Cllr Humby said the money would help the council implement "improved cycling and infrastructure as part of the A326 improvements".