Work is starting to investigate improvements for the A350 and C13, between Blandford and Shaftesbury.
Dorset County Council has received £2,492,000 from the Governments National Productivity Investment Fund, which will be used to carry out structural maintenance and improvements along these two roads – which provide part of the vital north-south route into Poole.
Dorset Highway’s is working with town and parish councils to agree a medium-term solution for the A350 and C13, while talks continue with neighbouring councils about the long-term strategic route options for the region.
Councillor Peter Finney, Cabinet member for environment, infrastructure and highways, said: “We’ve been working closely with the local parish councils for the past three years, since our investigation work at Dinah’s Hollow on the C13, and that will continue as we develop these traffic management and improvement designs.
“This money will greatly help the communities along these routes – for the medium term – while we continue to investigate the long-term strategic route options to strengthen our north-south transport network and secure economic growth of the area.”
At the moment, WSP Parsons-Brinckerhoff are undertaking a pre-feasibility study to examine the county councils initial proposals the A350 and C13 and provide independent evaluation of what improvements could be made within the line of the existing roads.
Possible work could include:
- carriageway resurfacing
- speed limit review on A350 and C13
- formalising HGV Routing via implementation of Traffic Regulation Order
- vehicle activated signs (VAS)
- traffic engineering solutions
- junction improvements
- maintenance of existing temporary signals in Dinah`s Hollow
County Councillor Deborah Croney, elected member for Hambledon Division, said: “This is an excellent chance for us to create a mid-term solution that suits the whole area.
“There are significant safety issues along both routes. This funding will allow us to look at measures that slows traffic down, and for us to make improvements for the benefit of drivers and residents.
“I’m sure that residents will look forward to having their say when the engineers have options for us all to consider.”
Any work will need to be completed within the 2017/18 financial year in order to maintain the funding, with the aim of starting in Autumn 2017.
Dorset County Council is continuing to work with Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset councils to investigate the possibility of building better transport links from Poole and Portland ports up to the M4 motorway. By looking at the whole route, and whether the considerable investment needed will bring economic growth and development to the region, there is a greater chance of attracting funding from the Government’s growth deal three.