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Apology over traffic jam caused by road survey
COUNTY Hall has been forced into issuing an apology to motorists after causing a huge rush-hour traffic jam on one of Dorset’s busiest roads.
A five-mile tailback choked traffic travelling into Poole along the busy A35 Upton bypass yesterday morning after Dorset County Council engineers coned off one lane along a four-mile stretch from the Bakers Arms roundabout.
The left-hand eastbound lane of the A35 was coned off all the way to Creekmoor so engineers could carry out a survey ahead of repair work scheduled for November.
However, fuming motorists blasted the decision to carry out the closure during rush hour.
And Dorset County Council’s Upton representative Fred Drane – describing the timing of the survey as “disgusting” – told the Daily Echo he planned to raise the matter with officials as soon as possible.
Transport chiefs have now abandoned plans to close one lane of the westbound carriageway at rush hour today, insisting engineers will wait until after the morning rush hour before moving in.
An angry Cllr Drane said: “There seems to have been absolutely no consideration taken for people driving into work.
“I saw this massive queue and thought to myself, this is absolutely not on.
“There must have been an awful lot of people held up – it is not acceptable that they didn’t realise this would happen.”
Some drivers reported up an extra half-an-hour on their journeys into work.
County highways group manager Martin Hill said: “We are extremely sorry for the disruption. We didn’t know how long the survey work along the eastbound carriageway would take, so we started early to make sure we finished it in one day.
“On reflection, it would have been better to have spread it over another day and avoided the peak rush.”
Today, one lane of the westbound carriageway at the same section will be closed from 9.30am until 4pm.
One fuming motorist said: “You would have thought the council might have realised closing one lane of this very busy road may have caused problems during rush hour. For a survey that could be done anytime? What were they thinking”
The work scheduled for November includes road resurfacing, drainage improvements, safety fence replacement, bridge strengthening and cutting back trees and vegetation.