Concrete has been laid on a segment of the Old Roman Road (the track that is a continuation of The Ridgeway). It has been put there by the owners of a field to the west of the track. They are not from the area, so it hasn’t been easy to talk to them – but they have said that they believe they have a right of vehicular access (the track is a public highway – left over from when it was the Weymouth/Dorchester road up to the early 19th century) and that the council refuse to improve the track. They said that the Highways Department had told them if they wanted the track improved they would have to do it themselves. They add that they originally wanted to lay concrete southward to join The Ridgeway but understand that local people would not be happy. Instead they have laid concrete uphill to join up with a track that runs from the old Dorchester Road to Bayard Dairy.
The concrete is ugly and seems likely to increase the likelihood of the track becoming a ravine in wet weather.
We have contacted the County Council, who say:
“The concrete has been laid without any consent or agreement of either Council [Dorset and Weymouth and Portland].
However, from both the Planning perspective and from Highways they have found no reason to actively pursue enforcement and the removal of the concrete.
The view being taken by the highways officer is that it “does not appear to present any issue relating to safety or appear to present any effect on surface water drainage. Indeed its presence probably prevents scouring of the surface in times of high rainfall”.
The team will keep it under review and if there is evidence that this view is wrong they will reconsider.”
So at the moment there is little we can do apart from keeping a watching brief.