The fatal accident that occurred on the A35 on the day after Boxing Day was a tragedy for the families directly involved but was also a nightmare end to Christmas for those trying to return home east or west over a 30 mile radius of Dorset.

Traffic was nose to tail trying to enter Bridport from the west for over a mile and by the time we got through Bridport, 45 minutes later it was dark and that was when there was information ‘Road Closed due to major incident’.

Unfortunately it did not state where the incidence had occurred.

If it had some of the traffic could have been siphoned off via Litton Cheney, Long Bredy or even Shipton Gorge and travelled east via the B3157 through as far as Weymouth, small roads indeed but not as small as the single track roads to the north of the A35.

Here traffic piled up nose to tail not able to turn back or move forwards. We felt we knew this rural backwater but ended up on a farm track leading nowhere, having struck up through Nettlecombe and West Compton.

In one hamlet we knocked on the door of a cottage where the Christmas tree lights showed against the dark lane. A kindly man suggested that we went back up through Powerstock, turning right and then left and left again onto the Eggerdon Ramparts.

Others also had taken this route so nose to tail stand still met us with no room for easy turning.

We decided to try Maiden Newton but soon met gridlock through this village so got out onto the Yeovil road when at last though traffic was abnormally heavy we were able to get to Dorchester and beyond.

The journey started from South Devon and took over 4.5 hours instead of the usual 2.5 hours.

How the people fared up on Eggerdon or those taking the route north to Beaminster (which we avoided due to build up of traffic) I can only speculate.

Dorset is a rural county. It has no relief roads so when the very few main roads that cross the county are closed mayhem results.

This happened on the A352, east of Dorchester in November, where there were four serious accidents and ensuing road closures.

Planners looking at an Ordnance Survey map have only to realise the problem.

There is not the infrastructure for widespread budding expansion unless more sizeable roads are provided (the planners seem to ignore the new fast road from Bere Regis to Dorchester).

But do we really want to urbanise or spoil rural Dorset with its Hardyesque inland and Heritage coast?

Cologne Road