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A350 and C13 route management scheme

A350 VAS

Dorset County Council is working with town and parish councils to agree a medium-term solution for the A350 and C13.

Dorset County Council has received £2,492,000 from the Governments National Productivity Investment Fund, which will be used to carry out structural maintenance and improvements along these two roads - which provide the vital north-south route into Poole.

Possible work could include:

  • carriageway resurfacing
  • speed limit review on A350 and C13
  • formalising HGV routing via implementation of Traffic Regulation Order
  • vehicle activated signs (VAS) 
  • traffic engineering solutions
  • junction improvements
  • maintenance of existing temporary signals in Dinah's Hollow

HGV routing

On Wednesday 6 December 2017, Cabinet agreed to continue with the existing advisory one-way HGV routing - northbound on A350 and southbound on C13/B3081.

Current signing will be enhanced with additional signs advising of the advisory one-way route, an anti-skid surface will be applied on the uphill section of Spreadeagle Hill for HGVs heading south out of Melbury Abbas, and there will be vehicle activated message signs (VMS) for HGVs travelling through the pinch point in Melbury Abbas.

Working in conjunction with a new lay-by, the VMS at Melbury Abbas will advise HGV drivers to wait in the lay-by when there is another HGV in the narrow section, with the sign advising the driver when it is clear to move through the passage. This system will work in addition to the current traffic signal control shuttle working in Dinah's Hollow.

Engineers will continue to involve all the blue light services and residents, and will also continue to monitor the situation and ensure that these new measures have the desired effect.

Latest news - 6 February

Our night closures on the A350, Sutton Waldron to Iwerne Minster, have finished early due to the cold weather. The surfacing work is finished, but the road is without studs or white lines through both villages and from the Durweston traffic lights to Bushes Road, Stourpaine.  

We've postponed this work due to the amount of grit we will be spreading on our road network this week - with the salt stopping the lining from sticking to the road surface.

We don't want to have to come back in a month or so to replace the new lining! The plan now is to install the lines/studs at the end of February, in conjunction with our work in Fontmell Magna.

All of the junctions, and the priority system in Iwerne Minster (near Barbers Cottage), have already had their new lines replaced.

Surfacing work next week will go ahead as planned, we will update this page and @TravelDorset if anything changes.

A350, Fontmell Magna to Sutton Waldron 
night closure 7pm - 7am, 12 February to 30 March (week nights only)

Completed work

Patching on the C13 has finished, as has surfacing at Sunrise Business Park. Resurfacing at Stourpaine and kerbing, lining and signing at Stepleton Bends has also been completed.


We have continued to work with the parish councils for the area along with the local action groups in order to achieve an improvement for all road users of the A350 and C13.

In June Dorset County Council held two exhibitions for locals to review the initial design proposals of the improvement scheme, ask questions and leave feedback. In total 164 local residents attended the two events, held in Stourpaine and Melbury Abbas, and engineers received 109 responses (pdf, 371kb) (opens in a new window), which included 41 online forms.

Proposals to introduce a 50mph speed limit between the villages along the A350 got approval from 72 per cent of respondents, 83 per cent were in favour of a 40mph speed restriction being introduced on Spreadeagle Hill south of Melbury Abbas, and 83 per cent value vehicle activated signs to assist communicating any traffic restrictions.

The responses received showed that 54 per cent are in favour of the voluntary one way system currently in place.

Consultation scheme plans

The following plans were on display at the public consultation exhibitions. As detailed design work is now underway we will soon be replacing these with up to date designs of the areas in question.

General drawings




In April 2014 Dinah's Hollow, on the C13, was closed due to the risk of a car being engulfed by a slippage of the slopes of the natural hollow.

Following extensive investigations, Dinah's Hollow was reopened in July 2015 with a reduced width and traffic lights controlling the flow of vehicles down the centre of the road, and a trial of an unofficial, voluntary HGV one-way system, while work continued on progressing a scheme designed to pin the slopes in place

In December 2015, Dorset County Council Cabinet decided to continue talks with neighbouring counties to investigate the possibility of building better transport links from Poole and Portland ports up to the M4 motorway - with the aim that by working with Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset councils to look at the whole route, and whether the considerable investment needed will bring economic growth and development to the region, will help to attract funding from the Government's growth deal three.

It was agreed that the traffic management for Dinah's Hollow would be upgraded to reflect the amount of time they may now need to be in place, along with a regular inspection regime to check equipment and for signs of slips.

In February 2016, the temporary water-filled barriers used in a continuous line as protection against a potential slip were replaced with permanent concrete barriers.

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