Dorset

Campaigner says Dorset relief road 'vandalised' area

The Weymouth to Dorchester relief road under construction
Image caption The county council says there was full public consultation into the road

A campaigner against work under way in Dorset to build an £87m relief road ahead of the 2012 Olympics has said the area has been "completely vandalised".

The route is set to improve congestion between Dorchester and Weymouth, which is hosting the Olympic sailing events with neighbouring Portland.

But Dr Guy Dickinson said the road "was just going to shift the traffic jams somewhere else".

The county council has said there was a full public consultation into the road.

It is set to open in 2011 but may be ready by late 2010.

The towns of Weymouth and Portland will play host to 400 international sailors during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The events will be held at the new Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.

Dr Dickinson said: "The main problem to me is this area behind us, which was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which has been completely vandalised.

"I don't think enough thought was put into it.

'Best option'

"Ninety-million odd quid spent on a road that's going to just shift the traffic jams somewhere else and probably fill up Weymouth with even more cars than before."

But the council said the route chosen offers the best option for "easing" the effect of the relief road on local wildlife.

Meanwhile a separate £9m Olympic transport project in Weymouth is due to get under way on Monday, causing disruption to traffic.

The scheme aims to help the town cope with an increase in traffic when it hosts the Olympic events.

Five roundabout junctions, including those in King Street and The Esplanade, will be redesigned and replaced with traffic lights.

The signals will be designed to give buses priority at junctions.

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