Motorists driven mad by being forced to make 'stupid' 42-mile diversion to get round less than 400ft of roadworks10/08/2020
MOTORISTS have slammed a “stupid” 42-mile diversion they face to get around less than 400ft of roadworks.
A small section of the A3066 near Beaminster in Dorset is shut to allow the lights in a tunnel to be replaced with new LED fittings.
Just 390ft of the road is closed but officials have recommended drivers take an alternative route that runs for 42.2 miles – and will add 65 minutes on to their journey.
To bypass the roadworks, motorists must head northwest on the A3066 before turning right onto the A356 and follow for 14.6 miles.
Drivers will turn right onto the A37 Dorchester Road and follow the route and take the second exit on the roundabout to stay on the A-road.
At Monkeys Jump roundabout, drivers will take the fourth exit onto A35 and follow for 12.8 miles into Bridport.
42.2 MILE DIVERSION
They must take the third exit on the roundabout onto the A3066 Sea Road and follow the A-road for a mile.
Drivers should follow the A3066 for nearly five miles before taking the second exit back onto A3066 Tunnel Road, where they started.
The 84.4 mile round-trip is roughly the same distance as driving to Brighton in East Sussex from central London.
It was put in place by Dorset Council, who say the distance is due to strict regulations.
It's pretty ridiculous isn't it asking people to drive that far to cover such a short stretch of road."
As the road closed is an A road any official alternative route must use the same class of road.
That hasn't stopped angry locals from hitting out at the decision with one man describing it as “ridiculous”.
The resident, who did not wish to be named, said: "It's pretty ridiculous isn't it asking people to drive that far to cover such a short stretch of road.
"Nobody is going to follow that as there are plenty of other routes but if you're not local and end up following that diversion you'd be pretty peeved.
"It's stupid and the council should make it clear that shorter alternatives are available.
"I have to use that route for work and certainly won't be adding an hour to my journey that's for sure."
Other locals took to social media to slam the "comical" 42-mile detour.
Steven Guest said: "Climate control gone mad, the carbon saved in the lamps verses the carbon used in the job and detour is almost comical."
Ben Smith, of farm equipment supplier Francis Bugler Ltd, said: "That's horrendous and a right pain."
A spokesman for Dorset Council said: "All vehicles will be prohibited from proceeding along A3066 Tunnel Road, Beaminster at either side of the tunnel, a distance of approximately 120 metres.
"The notice is needed in order to comply with health and safety regulations which require the provision of safe working areas and to minimise the likelihood of danger to highway users."
Dorset Council warns that any person who breaches the road closure could be convicted or face a fine of up to £1,000.
The diversion route will be signposted on the road.The stretch will be closed between 7pm and 7am until Friday.
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