Aerial pictures from July

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Ridgeway and Bincombe - aerial picture from July (large version)

Aerial photos of the scheme, taken in July, are now on our Flickr account.

In this one, you can see the progress of Ridgeway bridge and surfacing in Bincombe.

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8 Responses to “Aerial pictures from July”

  1. Nick Says:

    Looks good!

    What will happen with the old Ridgeway Hill? Perhaps the old road, if unused, could be removed and be returned as farm land? Henceforth counteracting, to a degree, the land taken for the new road.

    • Weymouth Relief Road Says:

      Hi Nick

      The existing A354 from the hairpin bend northwards to the top of the Ridgeway will be closed to traffic. This closed section will be narrowed and landscaped to be used as a farm accommodation track, footpath, cycleway and bridleway.

  2. Guy Dickinson Says:

    Thanks

    Surely not radically defacing an Area of Outstanding Beauty is more important than it not looking great – ie “falling below modern design standards!”. You’ve got to admit its every bit as bad as Twyford Down as predicted (another so called Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Why designate these areas if it means nothing? Isn’t there a 40 mph limit anyway in terms of danger at the blind summit!

    • Weymouth Relief Road Says:

      Hi Guy

      Modern design standards refer to the engineering design standards for new roads, which have safety of road users, motorised or otherwise, as the primary consideration. In looking at options for the junction at Bincombe we have chosen the option that requires less land than other options, such a roundabout, and this is in order to reduce the impact on the AONB. The road does of course have some impact on the AONB and in consultation with Natural England and other bodies we have modified the design to minimise this as far as possible without compromising on road gradient, visibility or other safety considerations.

      There will not be a 40 mph limit at the summit for the final works, as the summit won’t be a blind summit and does not have an intersection at that point.

  3. Guy Dickinson Says:

    What a ghastly scar in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Why couldn’t you have joined up your road to the existing road north of the hairpin???? Then no need to dig that appalling hole in the Ridgeway.

    • Weymouth Relief Road Says:

      Hi Guy

      Numerous options were considered at feasibility stage including a roundabout at the hairpin bend. There does need to be a link to Bincombe and Upwey so a junction is required. Simply coming off the hairpin with a curved section of road would fall well below modern design standards and would not be safe and adding a junction would have made the situation worse. A roundabout would have required a very large flat area to be formed and would have had to have been lit. This would have required the demolition of the adjacent properties. There would have been serious safety concerns about such a steep gradient into a roundabout. The roundabout would have also broken the momentum of large vehicles heading up the hill, which it would have been very difficult to provide a crawler lane out from the roundabout over the short tunnel. The large embankment would still have been required to the south of the hairpin which would have required fill material plus more material for a roundabout – the cutting through the Ridgeway provided this material.

      Even if the above difficulties were overcome it would still have left the very sharp blind summit, the dangerous turning to Broadmayne and the coastal path road crossing.

  4. David Says:

    Looking at this picture makes me wonder why you had to destroy the Ridgeway just to build a new road alongside the old road. Why couldn’t the new road have simply joined onto the old road at the hairpin bend? That way would have saved the countryside, saved the taxpayer and you would have been able to leave the Broadmayne / golf club road open.

    • Weymouth Relief Road Says:

      Hi David

      Numerous options were considered at feasibility stage including a roundabout at the hairpin bend. There does need to be a link to Bincombe and Upwey so a junction is required. Simply coming off the hairpin with a curved section of road would fall well below modern design standards and would not be safe and adding a junction would have made the situation worse. A roundabout would have required a very large flat area to be formed and would have had to have been lit. This would have required the demolition of the adjacent properties. There would have been serious safety concerns about such a steep gradient into a roundabout. The roundabout would have also broken the momentum of large vehicles heading up the hill, which it would have been very difficult to provide a crawler lane out from the roundabout over the short tunnel. The large embankment would still have been required to the south of the hairpin which would have required fill material plus more material for a roundabout – the cutting through the Ridgeway provided this material.

      Even if the above difficulties were overcome it would still have left the very sharp blind summit, the dangerous turning to Broadmayne and the coastal path road crossing.

      The proposal to close Broadmayne road at the junction with the A354 was in part as a result of The Countryside Agency’s (now Natural England) statutory objection to the 2005 scheme proposals, in particular the major all access junction at the Ridgeway. Consultation with Natural England led to a revised scheme which included moving the Ridgeway junction to a smaller limited movement junction at Bincombe and the closure of access to Broadmayne Road. The principal reason for not having a junction between the Broadmayne Road with the A354 is road safety, allied with the environmental impact and Natural England’s concerns that a new junction would have. The proposals have been carefully designed to provide a safe, strategic route between Dorchester and Weymouth/Portland, ensuring consistency of road standards throughout the corridor.

      The existing A354 from the hairpin bend northwards to the top of the Ridgeway will be closed to traffic and downgraded to a footpath, cycleway and bridleway.

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