In the matter of Dinah’s Hollow we believe after due consideration that no substantial changes are really necessary and any tree felling ought to be kept to a minimum, with ongoing monitoring by professional forestry staff.
If retaining walls are felt to be necessary they should be built on both sides of the road using local stone backed by deep supports and proper land drainage piping at regular intervals.
The site itself bears no comparison with Beaminster Tunnel because there is no overhead structure or landmass.
The risk of a dangerous landslip onto the roadway is clearly low and to human life virtually nil. No one has been injured here over many years in the past in all weathers.
Traffic lights and speed limits should be retained and articulated vehicles and large HGV’s should be excluded from this section of the C13. Therefore an alternative route must be found for them. Road signage and Sat/Nav systems should then be adjusted accordingly.
The road through Dinah’s Hollow is not greatly different from several other roads into Shaftesbury from either side or to other roads in Dorset and neighbouring counties, for example on the A30 near Milborne Port or even Tout Hill in Shaftesbury. None of these are treated as a serious risk to the public.
In current political and economic circumstances the possibility of any funding for a major alternative new through road is minimal, although improvements to existing routes and links can be reasonably considered within existing budgetary constraints. This includes the A303 in particular. DCC Plan, to spend millions of pounds cutting down all the trees, stripping back much of the soil and installing reinforced stone caging and wires will not only destroy this most ancient of hollows, but will not lead to any improvement in the capacity of the road. The traffic problems will remain.
(Shaftesbury Civic Society has no connection with Shaftesbury Town Council or Melbury and Cann Parish Council. We are an independent resident group that covers all of the SP7 postcode area)