Businesses Concerned Over Coast Road Closure
7:48am 11th November 2013
Local business fear they'll lose trade as a stretch of the Bridport coast road will be closed for the next five days (Monday 11th- Friday 15th November).
Between 9 am and 3.30 pm the road between Freshwater and Burton Bradstock, is off limits due to resurfacing works.
Wessex FM went out to speak to some of the businesses in the area about how the closure would affect them.
Roy Wilson is the Secretary at Bridport & West Dorset Golf Club stationed along the road, he told us he's worried they'll lose trade, "Members who live either in Burton itself or to the East of the Club will have a longer way to get round to the Club, so I'd think some of them will think twice about coming to play or coming to use the Clubhouse."
Stephanie Summers, a Senior Staff member at the Hive Beach Cafe in Burton Bradstock told us they've already made changes to prepare for a loss in customers, "We're actually adjusting our rota and actually reducing our number of staff".
However, Marilyn Hewitt, the Tenant at The New Inn in Shipton Gorge, actually welcomed the road closure. There will be a traffic diversion from Bridport directing people through Shipton Gorge and past the pub, she explains how this could help her, "We're quite a quiet road normally, and therefore it'll give us a lot more visibility, and hopefully bring in a few more people."
Both Roy and Stephanie remarked that although they expected Dorset Highways had considered alls option they would rather the work was done at night, or if they only closed one side of the road.
Wessex FM contacted Adrian Norcome, construction group delivery manager for Dorset Highways, to allow him to respond. He said working at night wasn't possible, "It wouldn't financially be practical, or from a Health and Safety point of view either."
He also explained that the machinery was too large to close just one side of the road, and that in places parts of the road they're working on are only 5 metres wide anyway.
Adrian stated that it was vital this work is carried out now, "The significant winters that we've been experiencing in the last couple of years contributed to the embankment slippage, and it's something that we really did need to get sorted before this winter, so we're preventing that by inserting 80 metres of 4 metre long steel sheet piles. Also the carriageway is suffering from a reduction in skid resistance so we're carrying out resistance so we're carrying out resurfacing works."
While the road is closed, the County Council will also be renewing a footway through the village of Burton Bradstock. They're creating a beige coloured footway which they say will define where pedestrians should walk, giving clearer guidance for motorists and providing a safer passage for villagers. They've predicted the work should take a week but have said it's weather dependent and could take slightly longer if there is heavy rainfall.
Bus services will be affected, with the X53 being diverted during the road closure times to operate between Portesham and West Bay.
The overall cost of the work will cost £165,000 and will be funded by capital maintenance, capital funds.