Calls for Dorset council to scrap plans to close a road for five weeks as locals say lives at risk

  • Report by ITV News Meridian's Richard Slee

A group of residents in Dorset say plans to close a road for five weeks should be scrapped - over fears it will leave them isolated and put lives at risk.

Repairs to a water main are planned on the B3351, a five mile route which links Corfe Castle with Studland.

But the work is taking place at the same time the Sandbanks Ferry is out of action for routine repairs.

It means motorists will be forced to divert via Unwell and Swanage - adding significant time to journeys.

Local residents say lives are at risk because it will take emergency vehicles much longer to get to Studland and business owners say they will lose money because fewer people will visit.

In a statement a spokesperson for Dorset council said: "Wessex Water has stated that the water main running underneath Studland Road has come to the end of its serviceable life and is now unsuitable for the demand currently being placed on it.

"They will install large sections of the new water main – which is used to supply local properties and businesses - in adjacent fields away from the highway, meaning future maintenance will be less disruptive to motorists.

“Both options were presented to interested parties earlier this year, and received a mix of comments and preferences.

"While we accept some people have concerns around the necessary traffic diversion, there is no perfect choice here.

"Weighing up the pros and cons of both options, we felt the closure of the road should ultimately coincide with the ferry maintenance, simply as less traffic uses the road during this time.

“We informed interested parties of the plans back in July, and issued the Temporary Traffic Regulation Order last week.

"Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue do not envision any impact on response times, and we will work closely with other agencies to ensure the traffic diversion does not place anyone at risk while Wessex Water carry out their works."

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