Drivers facing gridlock as Sandbanks ferry refit coincides with Upton bypass works

Bournemouth Echo: Drivers facing long delays as Sandbanks ferry refit collides with Upton bypass works Drivers facing long delays as Sandbanks ferry refit collides with Upton bypass works

THE Sandbanks Ferry was due to be tugged to dry dock this morning for its biennial repaint and refit.

Every other year ferry workers take the Bramble Bush Bay off its chains so it can be transported to Marchwood, Southampton, where it is taken out of the water for essential maintenance.

This year the ferry service suspension coincides with the start of a 15-week engineering scheme on the A35 Upton bypass and a ten-week project to replace a Blandford Road water main in Poole.

Lane restrictions were implemented along the A35 at Upton last night as the work got underway. Drivers were reporting delays of 40 minutes this morning at the Bakers Arms roundabout.

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Queues were already 25 minutes long at 8am and by 9am the road was at a standstill.

Michelle Luther, photographic assistant, said she was stuck on the A350 at Limberlost having taken half and hour to do what is normally a five minute journey from Lytchett Matravers.

"There are an awful lot of frustrated drivers and a lot of honking of horns," she said.

Motorists questioned the wisdom of starting major road works at the same time as the ferry refit.

One frustrated driver said: “It is incredible that organisations have not consulted each other over this – 36,000 cars normally use the Upton bypass, but with the Swanage ferry out too, how many more cars will want to use it?”

A Bournemouth-Swanage Motor Road & Ferry Company spokesman confirmed they had not been contacted by anyone about the A35 nor the Blandford Road engineering work.

“We didn’t know anything about the work on the Upton bypass,” she told the Daily Echo. “We do this refit every other year at the same time of year.”

Ferry workers say the refit must take place in the autumn, as summer is their busiest time and winter weather can make the five hour crossing to Southampton perilous.

The spokesman explained: “We will be taking the ferry off its chains on the Shell Bay side around 7am today." 

"We are going to be overhauling the engines, the hydraulic system and the prows – the bits that go up and down at each end.

“The ferry will also be painted, along with lots of other minor jobs.”

The work is scheduled to take up to five weeks.

Comments (6)

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9:25am Tue 6 Nov 12

Presstostop says...

Drivers facing long delays as Sandbanks ferry refit collides with Upton bypass works.....and how did they manage to hit each other?...The Echo may have changed the headline by the time this comment is read.
Drivers facing long delays as Sandbanks ferry refit collides with Upton bypass works.....and how did they manage to hit each other?...The Echo may have changed the headline by the time this comment is read. Presstostop

9:38am Tue 6 Nov 12

mark.s says...

I skim-read the headline and thought the ferry had collided with something in the water!

Still, it's a typical nice bit of planning by our local authorities.
I skim-read the headline and thought the ferry had collided with something in the water! Still, it's a typical nice bit of planning by our local authorities. mark.s

2:56pm Tue 6 Nov 12

jeebuscripes says...

GOOD MORNING LEMMINGS
GOOD MORNING LEMMINGS jeebuscripes

6:30pm Tue 6 Nov 12

mattkuk says...

Only poole council could let this happen !! Bunch of idiots
Only poole council could let this happen !! Bunch of idiots mattkuk

11:07pm Tue 6 Nov 12

Liz1102 says...

Did I get stuck? No. I heeded the warnings, used an alternate route and didn't have any problem at all.
Did I get stuck? No. I heeded the warnings, used an alternate route and didn't have any problem at all. Liz1102

9:51am Wed 7 Nov 12

big white bear says...

I'm sure its done on purpose, just makes the planners !! feel importent
I'm sure its done on purpose, just makes the planners !! feel importent big white bear

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