The A350 Blandford-Shaftesbury road was designated in 1922 and, despite a huge increase in motorised traffic since, both it and the parallel-running C13, have hardly been improved to this day with increasing traffic chaos.
- Improve the surface of both roads just north of Blandford. (Jan 2018 - completed.)
- Enhance current signing to advise of the advisory one-way route on the A350 and C13.
- Apply an anti-skid surface on the uphill section of Spreadeagle Hill for HGVs heading south out of Melbury Abbas.
- Install new vehicle activated signs (VAS) for HGVs travelling through the pinch-point in Melbury Abbas:
- Create a new lay-by and the signs at Melbury Abbas which will advise HGV drivers to wait in this lay-by when there is another HGV in the narrow section, with the signs advising the driver when it is clear to move forward.
Welcome though these improvements are, the only long-term solution is for the Government to upgrade the A350/C13 to provide a proper trunk road from the Poole Docks to the Midlands. This would include the need to provide a decent by-pass around Melbury Abbas to alleviate the current misery suffered there by both drivers and residents.
Hugo Mieville, the NDLD Parliamentary Spokesperson, welcomes the money received by DCC from the government for the improvement of the A350/ C13 route between Blandford and Shaftesbury, which forms an important part of the Poole- Bath axis. However, he feels that the money only scratches the surface of an underlying problem. Hugo:
'Clearly, the improvements being made are welcome, and we are happy to see further efforts being made to reinforce the suggested two-way HGV route, using both roads, which will hopefully further alleviate some of the daily suffering of the villagers of Melbury Abbas. However, the only way to provide a long- term solution to this problem is for national government to work together with the county council, and with parish councils and local landowners, to agree a mutually acceptable plan for a Melbury Abbas by-pass . This would have to be financed by national government, as this is a strategic national route: in the same way as the government have found the money to finance much-needed improvements to the A303.'