Drainage improvements to start in Dorchester

Improvement work is set to start to install new drainage at a flooding hotspot near Dorchester.

Drainage investigation: silt built-up

Work will start on the West Stafford Bypass on Monday 17 October, for 16 weeks, to refurbish and improve existing drainage, clear existing soakaway chambers and extend the drainage ditch on the north side of the road.

As well as these highway works, there will also be a bund built and a filter fence installed in adjacent farmland which will stop silt from getting into the drainage system.

Andrew Martin, Dorset County Council Service Director for Highways, said: “These drainage improvements have been designed following investigation work earlier this year, and will get surface water to clear more quickly.

“We’ve also been working with landowners to address issues caused by heavy rain water carrying silt into the drainage system from adjacent land.”

For the safety of drivers, and for workers, temporary two-way lights will be used to control traffic throughout the work.

Councillor Andy Canning, elected member for Linden Lea division, said: “Drivers will have to plan their journeys more carefully to allow for any delay these works might cause, but please be patient and try to look forward to having a road that stays open after heavy rainfall.”

Engineers will be monitoring the improvements to see if any further work is needed in the future to ensure the flooding risk is minimised.

The West Stafford Bypass was built in 1992, with the first recorded road closure due to flood water in 2012. Traffic analysts at INRIX have the road being recorded as closed at least 20 times in the last four years; twice in 2012, eight times in 2013, six times in 2014 and four times in 2015.

2 thoughts on “Drainage improvements to start in Dorchester


  1. Glad to know that Dorset County Council does its duty sometimes and properly attends to drainage problems along the main roads. However, despite massive written complaints to DCC about the lack of proper drainage along the A351 between the Holton Heath Roundabout, past Romany Works Business Park and all the way down to the Baker’s Area Roundabout – no DCC attention has been paid to this whatsoever. There is still no proper DCC outlet provided for this all this water. But we do have a very expensively installed cycleway instead – which is not generally used except by the very occasional cyclists (many of whom who still seem to prefer the main road despite all this effort). Exactly when does the Council intend to do something about this?


    1. Dear P.G.Farish, sorry for the delay in replying to you. Our community highways team has provided the following information:

      From 1/1/15 we have received 30 enquiries regarding that section of highway, 3 of these related to drainage and were all about damaged or missing covers rather than flooding.
      We dealt with a flooding issue in this area about 3-4 years ago where the low lying wetlands on either side of the A351 were flooding the highway. We found the culprit was a log that had been jammed into the culvert (pipe under the road). We removed the blockage and water flowed freely out towards Poole Harbour, the problem recurred a few weeks later and we found that the log was back again. We removed it and spoke to the adjacent landowner asking them not to do it again.

      If you think there is a current issue with the drainage you can report it online: https://www.dorsetforyou.gov.uk/travel-dorset/contact-dorset-highways and it will be assigned to one of our highway officers for investigation.

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