WEYMOUTH’S roundabouts are being spruced up in a £14,000 project.
The project involves three weeks of landscaping work focusing on the four roundabouts built as part of the relief road scheme, plus Manor roundabout near Morrisons.

Work started yesterday at the Harriers site near the park and ride.

This could be the last time the roundabouts will receive full attention – Dorset County Council says in two years’ time there is no money allocated for work on verges and roundabouts.

Motorists are warned that lanes approaching the roundabout being worked on will be narrowed and the inside lane of the roundabout closed to give a safe working space.

However work will be carried out off-peak – 9am to 4.30pm.

Over the last few months, the verges along the relief road have been ‘degraded’ ready for wildflower seeding as part of a project to reduce maintenance costs – that work is now moving onto the five roundabouts along the route.

Littlemoor, Jurassic, Veasta, Harriers and Manor roundabouts will all have the outer ring of existing grass replaced with a shingle border of one to one-and-a-half metres, which will save the need to strim around the signs regularly. The area behind the shingle will then be treated to create an attractive ‘flowering meadow’, with the existing trees and shrubs in the middle remaining.

Cllr Daryl Turner, cabinet member for the natural and built environment, said: “These landscaping changes will still ensure that, come summer, the relief road verges and roundabouts are an attractive and welcoming sight for visitors.

“At the same time, these changes will reduce our maintenance costs while creating a more biodiverse habitat for insects.”

Dr Phil Sterling, coast and countryside service manager, said: “From 2019 onwards there is currently no money specifically allocated to manage the verges and roundabouts of the relief road, so we’re working hard now to design out ongoing maintenance costs as much as we can. We believe we can reduce the overall cost of £60,000 per year to under £30,000 per year in future, which is a significant saving.”

The work on the roundabouts will cost around £14,000 – paid by the council’s transformation fund – and this will save an ongoing sum of £1,200 a year currently spent on strimming and grass cutting.