Dorset

Melbury Abbas HGV row: Work to stop jams 'waste of cash'

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Media captionThis video of two HGVs getting stuck in Melbury Abbas was filmed on 13 April 2017

A £200,000 scheme designed to stop lorries getting stuck on a narrow road through a Dorset village is a "waste of money", a parish council has said.

The C13 through Melbury Abbas has closed while works are carried out, including the installation of vehicle-activated signs.

The parish council said it did not believe the works would stop other large vehicles becoming stuck.

Dorset County Council said the works "should not be looked at in isolation".

It added the works were part of a £2.4m government-funded project to improve the C13 and the parallel A350 between Shaftesbury and Blandford.

Image copyright Save Dinah's Hollow
Image caption HGVs regularly meet and get stuck along the route through Melbury Abbas

The authority previously agreed an advisory one-way system for HGVs, encouraging drivers to use the A350 northbound and the C13 southbound at Melbury Abbas.

Melbury Abbas and Cann Parish Council withdrew an application for a judicial review to stop HGVs using the road in July due to legal costs.

In response to the new scheme, chairman William Kenealy said: "I think it's a waste of money."

He added: "In theory if the northbound large vehicle lorry stops at the vehicle activated signs (VAS) until told to go forward it might prevent two lorries from getting stuck further down the road but it won't really do anything about two vans or two large vehicles getting trapped."

The county council admitted: "There may on occasion be two large vans that will meet in the village, however, HGV conflict will be reduced."

The C13 has closed for 12 weeks. Other works include temporary signals being made permanent, hedge and tree trimming and pothole repairs.

Dorset County Council is campaigning alongside Wiltshire Council and Bath and North East Somerset Council for a long-term route between the M4 and Poole.

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