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Meeting held to voice opinion over proposed plans to close B3157 to replace old and burst water mains
DOZENS of people packed into a meeting to raise concerns about plans to close Abbotsbury to through traffic on the B3157 coast road for three months.
The plans are part of a Wessex Water scheme to replace old and burst water mains.
The work is scheduled to start on January 6, 2014, and take 12 weeks, although the water company told residents they would be doing everything in their power to do the works as quickly as possible.
The road through the village will be closed to all through traffic while the work is done and vehicles and heavy lorries will be diverted 42 miles around via the A35.
There will however be access for Abbotsbury residents for the majority of the time, according to the planners.
Wessex Water’s design engineer Alan Marler called on people to support their local traders while the work took place.
He said the new water main would benefit the people of Abbotsbury.
He said: “We are asking for help and support and any other ideas.
“I’d ask anyone is Abbotsbury to support their local traders.”
Signs will be in place stating there is no through road through Abbotsbury but that businesses will be open as usual.
Wessex Water said they had no option but to close the road to ensure the safety of the residents and those working on the scheme. Mr Marler added that they were looking to set up a landline number in Abbotsbury so residents could find out information as the scheme progressed.
There will be a shuttle bus for residents running between Abbotsbury Sub Tropical Gardens to the village car park.
This will also be used by the bus companies so that people using the bus will stop on one side of the village, catch the shuttle bus past the works and then catch an onward bus.
Residents and businesses raised concerns about the timescale for the work and whether it could be possible to open the road on Sundays to through traffic.
Other issues raised included the impact of the works on trade and compensation, and whether people would be able to get through the work to get to Portesham surgery.
- There will be a public exhibition and drop-in session on Tuesday, October 8, at Strangways Hall in Abbotsbury, from 2pm to 8pm.
SPEAKING after the meeting hotelier Dave Allen, who runs the Manor Hotel in West Bexington, said he had mixed feelings about the plans.
He said it was good that his staff would be able to get to work, but negative that tourists wouldn’t be coming past.
He said: “No through traffic means tourists won’t come as it’s a through road.”
Danielle and Selwyn Holmes run the Dansel Gallery in Abbotsbury.
They said they understood the work had to be done but didn’t see why it couldn’t be done differently.
Mrs Holmes said: “We require passing trade and it doesn’t happen unless they can get through to Bridport and Weymouth.”
She added: “It’s through traffic that brings trade.”
Mr Holmes said: “I don’t understand why they couldn’t have the road open on Sunday.”
Chairman of the Coast Road Action Committee Eonne Sinclair said: “I think they have handled themselves very well. I think they have got a difficult job.”
He said his concern was making sure that any medical needs of local residents was met.
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