Road opening


The main carriageway of the relief road is now due to open around mid March. This is only a few weeks later than on Skanska’s original programme.

At the start of construction in 2008 the project team set themselves a challenging target to try to open the road several months early.

Unfortunately wet weather during the critical summer months reduced productivity and prevented the completion of the bulk earthworks before the winter, which had a knock on effect on other activities such as drainage and structures.



19 Responses to “Road opening”

  1. David Flowers Says:

    I have a few questions for you,

    I was driving past the new roundabout (this was about 10pm at night), at Littlemoor, and looking over to see the new roundabout with street lights blazing, not even open as yet, and your already burning electricity, where dose Skanska, believe in eco friendly lighting, and as for D.C.C. will the lights at the new roundabout be switched off during night time hours (midnight to 5.30am)?

    I see another bottleneck appearing at the top of Ridgewey, the same place as what the reason why the new relief road was built to avoid, what I see is coming into Weymouth, the carriageway is single, out of Weymouth is duel carriageway, If a set of traffic lights, positioned at the top of Ridgewey and at Littlemoor, to divert the traffic into a shared lanes, to ease the flow of traffic, especially during the sailing events.

    Dorset County Council and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, have this week reduced the money for road repairs, so who will pay for the upkeep of the new road, and, when the road is finally finished and opened, is there a legislation stopping any services ripping up the road surface putting in new pipes and things and leaving us with a second rate road over time?

    • Paul Says:

      Re your 2nd point: PLEASE don’t wish more traffic lights on us! I can’t see the area’s mentioned are going to be a problem.

    • Weymouth Relief Road Says:

      Hi David,

      The lights at the roundabout junction won’t be turned off overnight. Dorset County Council’s Cabinet has recently approved a scheme to switch off residential street lights between midnight and 5.30am, but this will not affect traffic routes, town centres or in areas with high crime rates or significant highway use.

      The bottleneck that used to be experienced on the top of Ridgeway when a crawler lane was open was largely down to the very short length of it. It is not anticipated that the relief road will experience the same problem.

      The Olympic Delivery Authority is preparing substantial transport and travel plans that will be in operation during the Games. This includes the proposal of five park and ride sites, the largest of which will be two in the Dorchester area. Also, day visitors will be encouraged wherever possible to use public transport or organised coach services.

      The design of the relief road scheme is such that there are no services under the main carriageway. This will mean that the road will not need to be dug up to repair utilities, as often is the case on the current A354 Dorchester Road.

      Any necessary road repairs will be the responsibility of Dorset County Council. As a new road it is highly unlikely that any major surfacing repairs will be needed for a few years, however, any repairs on the A354 would be a priority due to the level of traffic that uses it

  2. jackie Says:

    I was suggesting an additional bus as there are people who live in Preston and work in Dorchester late who cannot get home without catching 2 buses after 6 o’clock and invariably missing the connecting bus in Weymouth as the time table of the No 31 is not compatable with the Preston buses. I agree a bus route should still exist along the Dorchester Road.

  3. jackie Says:

    Can you let us know what the bus route will be for the 31 Weymouth to Axminster will be. I have heard it will still stick to the old Dorchester Road route. Would it not be prudent to have an express bus straight thru to Littlemoor?

    • Weymouth Relief Road Says:

      Hi Jackie,

      No decision has been made yet about the route. The county council will be discussing the service with the operator.

    • Geoff Says:

      Living on the upward end of Dorchester Road, I certainly hope the No 31 continues to use the ‘old route’ and not ‘express’ through to Littlemoor.
      The No 10 service ceases early evening which would result in no service to Upwey residence after that time.
      The actual time ‘saved’ if your express route was adopted would be minimal once traffic can flow again along the old route.

      I hope the bus operators see it this way as well!

  4. Malcolm Beeson Says:

    When the new carriageway is fully open and the interchange completed at the top of Dorchester Road, I know that that the existing carriageway over the Ridgeway past the new green bridge will be closed to traffic. A lot of people walk along the Ridgeway. I expect many of them will exit the Relief Road at this junction on the Ridgeway and look for somewhere to park. Please consider leaving a full width of the existing ‘old’ roadway on the final 3-lane stretch to the summit, so that cars can be parked across the slope. Unless specific parking provision is made, there could be a lot of vehicles parked around the interchange and obstructing through traffic to Bincombe.

    • Weymouth Relief Road Says:

      Hi Malcolm,

      A small parking area is being built at the western end of the closed Broadmayne Road.

      In addition, the improved lay-bys on the Dorchester side of the Ridgeway will also provide access to the Ridgeway by either walking along the shared cycleway/footway or via the bridleway that runs past Bayard Barn.

      The existing road from the hairpin bend to the Ridgeway green bridge will be closed to traffic. The road will be reduced in width and become a footpath, cycleway and bridleway, which will link with the rest of the relief road rights of way access between Manor Roundabout and Dorchester.

  5. Geoff Says:

    A minor point really, but has it been decided where the ‘pineapples’ will be positioned after the road is opened? ie before or after the Ridgeway Bridge. (heading South)

  6. David Winterburn Says:

    I notice that in rain a large puddle forms at the turn right lane onto manor rounabout from Weymouth Way. Could a better camber or properly positioned dran have meant tha this drained properly.

  7. Steve Says:

    The photos don’t show any road markings yet but, are there going to be dedicated left turn lanes at the rbts for outward bound A354 traffic? The Park’n’ Ride rbt and the Main Littlemoor rbt (Jurassic?). There are 2 lanes from there northbound so, traffic could merge easily. Also, a dedicated lane from Dorchester, around the outside of the big Littlemoor one up to the smaller Littlemoor rbt. It is better to seperate flows as much as possible rather than designing in conflicts. On the same topic, why can’t the existing bit of Littlemoor road bypassing the rbt, be used as a one-way n/bnd, single lane, avoiding the rbt, as at present? Even if a cycle lane is planned, there is plenty of room for both. Again, why design conflicts, it makes no sense. The rbts will flow better, if some movements are segregated. How much imagination and innovative spirit does your team have?

    • Weymouth Relief Road Says:

      Hi Steve,

      The lane markings and size of roundabouts has been designed based on predicted traffic figures.

      Dedicated left-turn lanes certainly help with the capacity but do introduce additional merging movements.

      If a dedicated lane for Dorchester to Preston traffic was provided at the roundabout it would have further increased the size of the roundabout, and the length between Jurassic and Bincombe Bumps roundabout would have had to have been increased to allow traffic to merge and then get into the correct lane at Bincombe Bumps Roundabout.

      The amount of traffic from Preston wanting to head over the Littlemoor Bridge to Dorchester Road does not warrant a dedicated lane.

  8. Gards Says:

    No surprise that the main carriageway is not now opening until mid March but from what I have seen we will be lucky to have the road open before mid May, there looks to be a lot still to do. That said, a good effort even so, the weather has played itself against the project and plan. Again, good work and good luck.

  9. Mark Says:

    Excellent stuff. Will the Bincombe Bump Roundabout be open along Littlemoor road before the main Weymouth – Dorch traffic? I see street lights are already on, and i’m guessing that traffic will need to use to it get to and from Bincome so the main carriagway can finally be joined up to the Jurassic roundabout.

    • Weymouth Relief Road Says:

      Hi Mark,

      That’s right. The Bincombe Bumps Roundabout will be opened a few days before the main carriageway is opened, which will enable the new link to Icen Lane to be open.

      Icen lane will then be permanently closed off at its current access, where it is crossed by the relief road. This temporary road across the relief road will then be removed.

      The road link form Bincombe Bumps Roundabout back onto Littlemoor Road towards Preston also needs to be built up, which will start once the roundabout is fully open.

      • Richard Says:

        Please can we have a post describing the chronology of the remaining activities before the main carriageway opens and also the same for the new Littlemoor Road.

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