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Weymouth Relief Road approval: a disaster!

3 October 2008
The Campaign for Better Transport today condemned the Government’s decision to approve the £85.4 million Weymouth relief road [1]. Granting the approval was Ruth Kelly’s last act in office before she resigned as transport secretary.

The scheme will severely damage an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and ancient woodland and cut a deep gash into the Ridgeway. Local MP Jim Knight has said the road [2] will “create a real and psychological barrier between the two communities of Broadwey and Littlemoor” as well as disrupt local bus services.

Richard George, Campaign for Better Transport’s roads and climate campaigner, said,
“It’s shocking that Ruth Kelly’s last act in office was to approve such an environmentally destructive road scheme. This road will destroy a number of sites which are supposed to be protected and will wreck local bus services in the bargain. How could Kelly claim in her final speech that Labour is the party of public transport while at the same time she was signing the papers to approve this scheme?”

Notes to editors
[1] The Weymouth relief road entered the roads programme in 2003, costing £54.6 million. It is currently expected to cost £84.5 million – 55% more than originally predicted.

[2] Jim Knight’s submission to the Post Office LTD regarding the closure of Broadwey post office stated that “'When the Weymouth Relief Road is built there will be very limited access between the two areas (Broadwey and Littlemoor). It will create a real and psychological barrier between the two communities of Broadwey and Littlemoor and will affect public transport routes.”