Work starts on Dorchester 'rat run'

Work starts on Dorchester 'rat run'

Published by George Sharpe at 7:44am 4th November 2019.

Work on a traffic calming scheme for a Dorchester ‘rat-run’ road is to start today.

  • Humps are being installed today, with work expected to finish by the end of November.
  • The road will be closed for periods of time while they're put in.
  • It's designed to stop drivers using the road as a cut through to avoid 'no-turn' measures at the Great Western Cross.

The project, for Victoria Road and adjacent streets, is designed to deter drivers using the area to avoid a ‘no turn’ order at Great Western Cross.
That order was put in operation last year when the county council revamped the junction, claiming it would improve traffic flows in the area.

Many questioned at the time why a left turn into Cornwall Road towards the Borough Gardens from Damers Road, to the west, needed to be banned.

Residents in Victoria Road say they have been subjected to an increase in traffic since the changes were made despite the road being made access only – which is widely ignored.

Work starts from Monday (Nov 4th) on installing traffic humps and other measures which will mean the closure of the road for periods until the work is completed.

Dorset Council say the work is expected to be completed by the end of November although the order for the legal temporary closure of the roads remains in force for 18 months.

Victoria Road - no entry except for access
Victoria Road - no entry except for access

Once finished Victoria Road, and all of the roads leading immediately off it, will  be subject to a 20mph speed limit.

The calming scheme itself had previously been held up after several residents lodged formal objections to it, which resulted in a delay of around six months while the traffic orders went to consultation and were then approved by a planning committee and Dorset Council.

The new restrictions will also apply to other roads off Victoria Road – Westover Road, St Helens Road and Albert Road, all to the west of Cornwall Road which runs parallel to the Borough Gardens.

Victoria Road - car uses as a short cut
Victoria Road - car uses as a short cut

More than three quarters of residents in the area supported the traffic calming proposals in a public consultation exercise with the objections only being lodged once the proposed legal orders were published.

By Trevor Bevins, Local Democracy Reporter