Drivers' fury over 'stupid' 42-MILE diversion for 390ft of roadworks

Drivers’ fury over ‘stupid’ 42-MILE diversion that adds over an hour to their journey… while engineers fit LED lights in a tunnel along 390ft stretch

  • A 390ft stretch of closed road has resulted in a 42.2-mile diversion for drivers
  • Lights in a tunnel on the A3066 in Dorset ‘need to be replaced with LED fittings’
  • Bypassing the roadworks on recommended route adds 65 minutes to a journey 
  • Have you been affected by the diversion? Email your story to [email protected]

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 take a roundabout route around a network of A roads.  

The 84.4 mile round-trip is roughly the same distance as driving to Brighton in East Sussex from central London.

Just 390ft of the road is closed but officials have recommended drivers take an alternative route that runs for 42.2 miles (pictured) and will add 65 minutes on to their journey

It was put in place by Dorset Council, who say the distance is due to strict regulations.   

To bypass the short stretch of roadworks, motorists have to head northwest on 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.

They must take the third exit on the roundabout onto A3066 Sea Road and follow the A-road for a mile before taking the second exit onto A3066 Beaminster Road.

Drivers should follow the A3066 for nearly five miles before taking the second exit back onto A3066 Tunnel Road, where they started.

As the road closed is an A road any official alternative route must use the same class of road.

Just 390ft of the A3066 road near Beaminster in Dorset is reportedly closed to allow the lights in a tunnel to be replaced with new LED fittings

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!’

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 while the stretch remains closed between 7pm and 7am until Friday. 

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