Long-awaited junction upgrades in Dorchester will start in January, with four sets of signals set to be revamped in 2017.
The schemes are the deferred maintenance elements of the Dorchester Transport and Environment Plan (DTEP), which was scaled back in 2014 following extensive consultation with residents and businesses.
On 15 January, 14 weeks of work will take place on the Great Western Cross junction – by Dorchester West Train Station – to replace the corroded signals, improve pedestrian facilities and resurface the area.
The new junction has been designed to significantly improve pedestrian safety – by providing controlled pedestrian crossings on all arms of the junction – and reduce traffic delays.
To keep traffic flowing at the same time as pedestrians cross – maximising the capacity of the junction – the following vehicle movements are being banned:
- left turns from Damers Road into Cornwall Road
- right turns from Great Western Road into Cornwall Road
- right turns from Damers Road into Victoria Road
- right turns from Maumbury Road into Great Western Road
- left turns from Dorchester West Station into Damers Road
The first week of work will be at night – from Sunday 15 January to the early hours of Friday 20 January – with the junction closed to traffic from 7pm to 7am the following morning.
From Monday 23 January the banned movements will come into effect and there will be five-way temporary lights in use for the duration of the work. There will also be a temporary ban of vehicles turning right from Cornwall Road into Damers Road during construction.
Councillor Peter Finney, Cabinet member for Environment, Infrastructure and Highways, said: “These DTEP elements schemes will help manage the flow of traffic in the town centre and will provide more controlled pedestrian crossing facilities.
“Dorchester is a vibrant historic town and, by making these upgrades, we will continue to support its economic growth.”
Councillor Andy Canning, chair of the DTEP local member-led working group, said: “We’ve waited a long time for this work to get underway. We can only work with the roads that are already in place, and hopefully all these schemes together will make it safer for pedestrians and improve traffic flow in the town centre.”
Other work as part of the DTEP elements scheme includes:
- upgrading South Gate pedestrian crossings, scheduled start in April 2017
- paving the lower section of South Street, scheduled to start in April 2017
- upgrading the High Street junction with Trinity Street, scheduled to start in September 2017
- upgrading the Damers Road junction with Williams Avenue, scheduled to start in December 2017