AN IRATE motorist hurled a block of wood out of a car window at workmen in frustration at ongoing road chaos.

Highway managers appealed for calm after the attack as feelings ran high in the first week of work at Ferrybridge on Portland – with disruption continuing in Weymouth.

Traffic has been reduced to one lane for four weeks while workers refurbish the bridge joints and re-waterproof the deck.

The block of wood was hurled at workmen from a vehicle in rush hour as hold-ups gripped the Portland beach road and Wyke.

Dorset County Council head of highways Andy Ackerman said: “Swearing, shouting and rude gestures towards our workers are increasing.

“While we understand residents’ frustration, this is being directed at the wrong people.

“If you want to understand what work is taking place and why, we are on the end of a phone or email.

“We have a project blog to keep people up to date and we also have a visitors’ centre, which we encourage people to come to.

“Between now and the end of July next year – before the Olympic sailing test events – the county council is co-ordinating 200 highway works of its own schemes and those of gas, water and communication companies.”

He added that the borough was seeing unprecedented investment in its transport infrastructure, roughly 20 years of investment in one year, and the council was trying to make the most of the money available as a result of the 2012 Games.

The plea came as residents and businesses claimed Portland had been badly hit by the roadworks.

Assistant town clerk for the town council Barry Morfett said: “It’s easier to get off Alcatraz than Portland.”

Deliveries have been cancelled to Portland Pets and Aquatics in Easton Square and bus passengers are facing 50-minute delays.

Pet shop owner Alison Small said fish deliveries had been cancelled and frozen food deliveries ruined, which was affecting business.

She added: “Another problem is getting to the vets – our vet in Easton is only open an hour a day and doesn’t do operations.”

Personal trainer Boris Stone, 41, of Easton has lost money because of delays in getting to clients.

Town councillor Neil Charlton said it took him an hour to get his children to Budmouth Technology College.

The pharmacist at Boots in Easton has been relocated to Weymouth.

Corinne Peters 32, from Wakeham, had to give up her job at the Rembrandt because of the roadworks. She said: “I've managed to get a job at the Portland Heights hotel but I think the tourists are not coming over because of the roadworks at the Ferry Bridge.”

* There are several ways that the highways team can be contacted. Call 01305 224754, email weymouthtransportpackage@ or go online to transportpackage A blog of work updates is at For face-to-face contact, drop into the visitor centre at Weymouth’s Swannery car park: Mondays, 9am to 11am; Thursdays noon to 2pm or the second Saturday of every month, 9am to midday.