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A350 and C13 route management scheme

Dorset County Council is working with town and parish councils on a route management scheme as 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.

Work includes:

  • carriageway resurfacing
  • speed limit review on A350 and C13
  • vehicle activated signs (VAS) 
  • traffic engineering solutions
  • junction improvements
  • maintenance of existing temporary signals in Dinah's Hollow

HGV routing

Dorset County Council can confirm that the High Court has approved a consent order withdrawing the Judicial Review application against the heavy goods vehicle routing between Blandford Forum and Shaftesbury on the A350 and C13. This ends the Court proceedings.

Routing of HGV’s through Melbury Abbas will now continue as agreed by Dorset County Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday 6 December 2017 – with an advisory one-way system in place for HGVs travelling on the A350 and C13.

Northbound vehicles will be advised and directed to use the A350 and southbound vehicles will be advised and directed to use the C13.

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 Spread Eagle 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 pull-in, the VMS at Melbury Abbas will advise HGV drivers to wait in the pull-in 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 - 5 July

All surfacing, patching and village 'gateway' work has now finished and new speed limit signs have been installed, with the new speed limits in effect from 8 June.

The proposed pull-in and vehicle activated signs within Dinah's Hollow are currently scheduled to be implemented in Autumn 2018.

Detailed design is continuing on the Gore Clump junction improvement, with the aim of building this in early 2019.


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 2017, 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, 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 Spread Eagle 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 were in favour of the voluntary one way system currently in place.


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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