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Weymouth Harbour

Published at 7:40am 5th March 2019.

Priorities for an extra £1.4million of road repairs are to be agreed by Dorset councillors next week.

It could include the removal of harbour side redundant rail lines in Weymouth – although this will also need Network Rail agreement.

Most of the money is being spent on resurfacing priority roads and dealing with a backlog of work to fill pot holes – with £300,000 allocated to clear gullies and dig new ditches in areas which frequently flood.

Pot Hole

But despite the extra cash shadow Dorset Council members will be told at a meeting on March 11 that the total amount is still not enough to cover all of the county’s maintenance needs across the whole highway network.

The county had received an extra £6million from the Government for structural maintenance this year in addition to a £12.4million annual grant.

Many of the road projects are already completed with plans in hand to finish much of the rest of the work by the end of March although some schemes will not be completed by the time the new council comes into being at the start of April.

Traffic cone Road works

A report by service director Matthew Piles says the late allocation of some of the Government money is causing problems, coupled with the weather: “There are significant design and operational difficulties in mobilising resources at such short notice at this time of year. Cold and wet weather conditions are not conducive to certain surfacing and repair treatments. It will not be physically possible to resource these works through our existing strategic partners or secure the required road materials to achieve this deadline.”

He is suggesting that some of the budget will have to be rolled forward to the 2019/20 financial year: “The rolled over funds will contribute to an increased programme of preventative treatments such as surface dressing and micro asphalt, whilst also targeting maintenance to improve highway safety. This will contribute to managing carriageway condition across the whole network, preventing the formation of potholes, and managing skid resistance,” he says.

'Removal of redundant rail lines'

Included in the rolled forward funding is £1million for schemes in Weymouth which may include the removal of redundant rail lines in Commercial Road and Custom House Quay by the harbour – although there will have to be further consultation on this and talks with Network Rail who will be asked to contribute towards the scheme.

The company was reported by the Dorset Echo last year to have been in talks about the future of the tracks since last August. Public opinion has been divided over whether they should be ripped up or retained as a reminder of the town’s past.

Weymouth town centre roads due to be resurfaced include Westham Road, St Thomas Street, the southern end of St Mary Street, Bond Street and Maiden Street with the possibility of also widening the footpath in Park Street.

Patching schemes listed for completion by March 31st include Poundbury Road, Dorchester; High Gate Lane, Crossways; Millers Close, Dorchester; Duck Street, Symondsbury; Coburg Road, Dorchester; Dorchester Road, Broadwey; Bellfield Park Road, Chelmsford Road and Knightsdale Road, Weymouth; Cullliford Way and Canberra Road, Littlemoor and Pineapple Lane, Salway Ash.

By Trevor Bevins, Local Democracy Reporter

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