Three weeks of roadworks to begin in Corfe Castle

Just in time for the new school term, a three-week lane closure on the A351 at Corfe Castle begins on Monday 15th April 2024.

Work is being carried out to repair an historic building on East Street below the Bankes Arms – believed to have once been part of the stabling block of the castle itself – which was hit by a Dorset Council bin lorry more than a year ago.

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Scaffolding will have to be built in the Swanage bound lane of the A351

Old Stables roof to be rebuilt

Scaffolding, which will be necessary for the repair work as the roof of the old stone stables is rebuilt, will have to encroach on the Swanage-bound lane.

Half of the roadway will be closed, with temporary two-way traffic lights in place, although it is hoped that the lights will be manually operated during peak times in an attempt to minimise disruption.

The light controlled pedestrian crossing outside Corfe Castle village stores will be temporarily disabled during the repair works and long queues are expected through the village at peak times.

Long queues are expected through Corfe Castle village centre at peak times

Urgent structural repairs needed

The Old Stables, owned by the National Trust, dates back to the 17th Century and is likely to have been built on the site of an older building.

The National Trust gifts the use of the building to the Corfe Castle festivities committee to store items used by the village, such as Christmas lights, but it now needs urgent structural repairs to the roof to keep it sound.

Work is being paid for through insurance claims and is being carried out by a third party contractor, but it needs an access scaffold which will extend into the carriageway on the Swanage-bound lane of the A351.

Damage caused to the Old Stables’ roof when a Dorset Council bin lorry hit it means a major rebuild

Traffic light system to be manual

National Trust spokesperson Fleur Castell said:

“To ensure the safety of motorists and pedestrians, one lane of the A351 will be closed and movement of traffic will be controlled by an all-day manual operation traffic light system between 7am and 7pm, Monday to Friday, with automatic operation for evenings and weekends.

“The existing pedestrian crossing outside the village store will be turned off and will be out of operation during the three-week period, with a temporary pedestrian crossing provided.

“There will be road signs in place to identify the approach to the traffic management area.”

Traffic is warned of overhanging buildings, but narrow roads and wide loads do cause problems

Request for patience during works

Fleur Castell added:

“We fully appreciate the disruption is difficult. The schedule has been set by the contractors of Dorset Council but will include two or three days to erect the scaffolding.

“Even though the obvious signs of damage are to the Purbeck Stone on the front elevation, there are more complex structural works needed which include the removal of the entire roof.

“We apologise for any inconvenience the lane closure may cause and would request understanding and patience while these essential structural works are in progress.”

The pedestrian crossing by the village stores will be disabled for three weeks

Surface dressing and potholes

Work is scheduled to last until Friday 3rd May 2024. Separate roadworks for surface dressing and to deal with potholes are being planned for the area in May.

Those works will take place on the A351 Valley Road between Corfe Castle and Harmans Cross, the B3069 along Kingston Hill and on Haycrafts Lane between Tuesday 14th May and Wednesday 29th May 2024.

Negotiating the road through Corfe Castle can be difficult

Further information

  • All the latest updates on roadworks in Purbeck are available at the One Network website

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