A PLEA for government money to help fund the re-opening of Beaminster Tunnel has fallen on deaf ears.

Dorset County Council faces additional costs of around £2.3million to make the tunnel safe and re-open the A3066.

It asked the Department for Transport for money but was told by Parliamentary under secretary of state Norman Baker that the council would have to use its own budget to meet the cost, saying it would be unfair on national taxpayers to give additional funds to Dorset.

County councillor Rebecca Knox said it was disappointing to be turned down but the money would be found from somewhere.

She said: “Obviously we are going to be looking at other sources of funding for it.

“We will find the finance for whatever option is chosen. I believe that there is an argument for national government funding, and we will continue the discussion.

“We are not going to give up. It is a lot of money but it has got to be found because the A3066 needs opening.”

The two preferred options for the works are to stabilise the soil above the tunnel and to build protective concrete hoods around its entrance.

County councillors will be deciding which option to vote for at their cabinet meeting on November 7.

The tunnel has been closed since July 7 when a landslip killed Rosemary Snell and Michael Rolfe. Their bodies lay undiscovered for 10 days.