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Blandford to Shaftesbury - A350 and C13 route management scheme

The council is working with town and parish councils on a route management scheme as a medium-term solution for the A350 and C13.

We received £2,492,000 from the Governments National Productivity Investment Fund in 2017, this is being used to carry out structural maintenance and improvements along these two roads - which provide the vital north-south route into Poole.

Work includes:

  • carriageway resurfacing
  • speed limit review on A350 and C13
  • vehicle activated signs (VAS) 
  • traffic engineering solutions
  • junction improvements
  • maintenance of existing temporary signals in Dinah's Hollow

The proposed pull-in and vehicle activated signs within Dinah's Hollow are currently being installed. 

Work was originally scheduled to finish on 7 April. Due to unforeseen ground conditions - local geology has meant excavating through 45cm of stone underneath the carriageway to install the new traffic signal equipment - work is now expected to finish on 26 May, seven weeks later than programmed.

Other maintenance work and resurfacing through the village is also being carried out while the road is closed to reduce future maintenance.

Detailed design is continuing on the Gore Clump junction improvement, with the aim of building this in summer 2019.

HGV routing

We can confirm that the High Court has approved a consent order withdrawing the Judicial Review application against the heavy goods vehicle routing between Blandford Forum and Shaftesbury on the A350 and C13. This ends the Court proceedings.

Routing of HGV’s through Melbury Abbas will now continue as agreed by Cabinet on Wednesday 6 December 2017 – with an advisory one-way system in place for HGVs travelling on the A350 and C13.

Northbound vehicles will be advised and directed to use the A350 and southbound vehicles will be advised and directed to use the C13.

Current signing will be enhanced with additional signs advising of the advisory one-way route, an anti-skid surface will be applied on the uphill section of Spread Eagle Hill for HGVs heading south out of Melbury Abbas, and there will be vehicle activated message signs (VMS) for HGVs travelling through the pinch point in Melbury Abbas.

Working in conjunction with a new pull-in, the VMS at Melbury Abbas will advise HGV drivers to wait in the pull-in when there is another HGV in the narrow section, with the sign advising the driver when it is clear to move through the passage. This system will work in addition to the current traffic signal control shuttle working in Dinah's Hollow.

Engineers will continue to involve all the blue light services and residents, and will also continue to monitor the situation and ensure that these new measures have the desired effect.

Background

In April 2014 Dinah's Hollow, on the C13, was closed due to the risk of a car being engulfed by a slippage of the slopes of the natural hollow.

Following extensive investigations, Dinah's Hollow was reopened in July 2015 with a reduced width and traffic lights controlling the flow of vehicles down the centre of the road, and a trial of an unofficial, voluntary HGV one-way system, while work continued on progressing a scheme designed to pin the slopes in place

In December 2015, Cabinet decided to continue talks with neighbouring counties to investigate the possibility of building better transport links from Poole and Portland ports up to the M4 motorway - with the aim that by working with Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset councils to look at the whole route, and whether the considerable investment needed will bring economic growth and development to the region, will help to attract funding from the Government's growth deal three.

It was agreed that the traffic management for Dinah's Hollow would be upgraded to reflect the amount of time they may now need to be in place, along with a regular inspection regime to check equipment and for signs of slips.

In February 2016, the temporary water-filled barriers used in a continuous line as protection against a potential slip were replaced with permanent concrete barriers.

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