A BUSY Dorchester road is set to be made safer for pedestrians when work gets underway in the new year – with routes closed and diversions in place.
From Monday, January 8, until around February 16, construction work will be carried out in Fairfield Road to improve safety and accessibility, Dorset Council said.
The road, part of Fairfield car park and running between Weymouth Avenue and Maumbury Road, it well used but has no footpaths or pedestrian routes.
Meanwhile, parked cars block visibility and two-way traffic passes through.
Serving the car park, the road is used by people accessing Brewery Square.
The route also forms part of the signed pedestrian route between Dorchester West and Dorchester South railway stations for passengers changing between services on each line.
The council said the work will:
- Create a wide footway along the length of Fairfield Road
- Provide safer crossing points across Fairfield Road at junctions
- Install a new access into the car park directly from the railway station (from Copper Street)
- Provide better street lighting on Fairfield Road
- Create a pedestrianised space at the busy eastern end by restricting vehicle access
While the work is taking place, all businesses and Dorchester markets will be open as usual, but people may need to access these using a different route that will be marked, the council said.
The work will take place in three phases.
Phase one – Maumbury Road end of Fairfield Road – January 8 to 19:
Maumbury Road will be closed southbound from Great Western Cross to, and including, Fairfield Road access – a diversion route will be signed for drivers to use Great Western Road
Fairfield Road access will be available from Weymouth Avenue
Fairfield Car Park access will remain available from Upper Fairfield Road
Phase two – Weymouth Avenue end of Fairfield Road – January 22 to February 2:
Temporary three-way signals will be in place on Weymouth Avenue (and Copper Street)
Fairfield Car Park access will only be available from Upper Fairfield Road (or via the access gate next to Market Café)
Weymouth Avenue access into Fairfield Road will be closed
Phase three – final footway, surfacing and finishing works
From Monday, February 5:
Fairfield Car Park access will be available from Maumbury Road/Fairfield Road
Vehicle access will no longer be available from Weymouth Avenue onto Fairfield Road
Localised works on Fairfield Road will require some footway closures
Councillor Ray Bryan, portfolio holder for highways, travel and environment at the council, said: “The current arrangement is difficult for less mobile people and those using buggies or mobility scooters, as well as train users with heavy luggage.
“This will create a safer and more pleasant route for people who use this busy part of the town.”
The work is being funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) through the Active Travel Fund, which supports schemes to improve conditions for people on walking, wheeling or cycling.
Working with Dorchester Town Council, more improvements are planned for the pedestrianised eastern end to enhance the area, including planting and benches.