Bridport Coast Road Closes For 12 Weeks
6:57am 6th January 2014
Major works to repair ageing water pipes means motorists won't be able to drive through Abbotsbury for up to 12 weeks.
The planned works by Wessex Water have been scheduled for months amid much controversy amongst local people and businesses.
The water company say the current pipes that were laid in the 70's are prone to bursting and need to be replaced.
They consulted with people living in the village for months before plans were finalised.
Engineers are working on West Street, Market Street and Rodden Row with a lengthy diversion in place on the A35.
Wessex Water Design Engineer Alan Marler told us the work is essential;
“Everytime the main bursts it causes a problem. Its an interruption to supply to customers there and businesses who rely on a regular supply. It's just burst that many times that we need to bring some control into the situation and replace the main”
Local businesses worried about losing trade could be entitled to compensation when the work is over.
Graham Roper's the Landlord of the Swan Inn in the village and says the works will affect business;
“We do rely on people going through and then stopping for a meal, there's no reason to come through Abbotsbury really, so we do rely on passing trade and we will lose business there's no doubt about that.”
Local businesses could be provided with some compensation though if trade is badly affected. Rachel from the Lazy Hill Gallery in the village will be looking to make a claim after the work is done;
“As long as we can show figures for previous years, a month up to and after the road closure, they – Wessex Water - will look at those very sympathetically and we are led to believe they will pay compensation. That may be very little but it will be better than nothing.”
Wessex Water has organised 2 shuttle buses for people living in the village to keep them going, Alan Marler explains;
"One of the buses is running from the Sub Tropical Gardens to the car park at the right handside of the Swan Pub, and that will be running all day long 7 days a week. It's to make sure life goes on in Abbotsbury".