Updated December 2019
Original Post of June 2019 –
Parts of a local ancient road are being widened and part-concreted. Many local residents are concerned about the work.
The track is usually known as the Old Roman Road. It leads from the top of The Ridgeway (above The Old Ship) to the South Dorset Ridgeway National Trail. It is a public highway, in the care of Dorset Council. It is inside the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and, in part, inside the Upwey Conservation Area.
The concreting has taken place over a number of years, but most recently in late May 2019. It is being done by owners of a small field off the track who have with no other connection to the area.
A meeting was held on 31 May to allow everyone to express their views and to see what action could be taken to protect a quiet rural lane from further damage. After that meeting a small group volunteered to take things forward. After discussion, and some investigation of the options, it was decided that the best approach was to develop contact with the right part of the Council as they were in the best place to discourage inappropriate treatment of the track and could, if necessary, take enforcement action.
Update, July 2019
We understand that the field owners and the Council’s Community Highways Officer have spoken and have agreed that when the owners are next in Dorset, this summer, they will meet to discuss the matter.
Update December 2019
The Council’s Community Highways Officer spoke to the field owners in late August, altough it was not until December that we were able to find out what was said. We understand that the field owners agreed not to do any more work without consulting the Council first. The Council do not intend to remove the concrete, or to require the field owners to remove it.
It was generally agreed that there was little more that could be done. for now. Residents would maintain a watching brief.