Letter from Hugo Mieville, the Liberal Democrat's parliamentary candidate for North Dorset:
The continued controversy about Dinah's Hollow is in danger of becoming an entrenched battle between the different parishes which lie adjacent to the C13 and A350. The sad truth is that the road infrastructure on these major arterial routes is completely inadequate to cope with the demands placed upon them - neither road can actually cope with the volume of traffic, or the size and number of HGVs using the roads. Given that this is the case, surely it is better for all sides to work together co-operatively towards finding a solution?
I would like to propose the following way forward:
A. Dorset County Council (DCC) should do the minimum possible to safely re-open the C13 at Dinah's Hollow, avoiding the destruction of thousands of trees, and the ancient covered hollow - but permitting the reopening of the route, to the relief of thousands of motorists!
B. DCC to apply agreed weight-limits and speed-limits to the newly re-opened road, to allow the villagers of Melbury Abbas to live a relatively normal life.
C. An honest and open round-table discussion should follow which would bring together representatives of all sides, including the various parish councils. This would agree ways forward, including (hopefully) reviving the idea of a by-pass, and examining options for obtaining government, and even European, backing and finance. The 'adversarial' approach championed by some is counter-productive. In the end, this is is a common problem to which mutually-agreed solutions, satisfactory to all parties, need to be found.