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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 November 2006, 13:06 GMT
Concerns spark road plan changes
Map showing Dorchester and Weymouth
The road is designed to reduce congestion on the A354 and A353
Changes are being made to plans for the Weymouth Relief Road in Dorset, to address environmental concerns and make the route more visually attractive.

The county council responded to issues raised by the Countryside Agency over the effect of the road on the Ridgeway Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Designers are now to add improved links for walkers, riders and cyclists.

The council hopes the changes will win planning permission for the 77m scheme, designed to ease congestion.

'Best option'

The amendments involve removing a section of road and changing a junction to make the new route blend in more with the surrounding environment.

Miles Butler, of Dorset County Council, said: "These revisions provide the best environmental option for the project, and are aimed at protecting Dorset's unique landscape as much as possible.

"We have taken on board concerns, which have been raised about the possible impact of the new road, and we hope the changes will strengthen the planning application currently being considered."

If approved, work on the 3.75 km (2.3 mile) stretch of single carriageway, designed to ease congestion on the A354 and the A353, would begin late next year.

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