For the last 16 years, on and off, I have found myself concerned with a small patch of road known as Miles Cross.
I imagine that almost any reader of the Bridport News will be familiar with this particular location – and I imagine that most would share my view, substantiated by the statistics, that this particular patch of road is unsatisfactory.
I would not wish to pretend to be any kind of expert on highway engineering, but (like any other driver) I can sense an uncomfortable junction when I come across one. And, if there was ever an uncomfortable junction, this is one of them.
It is, of course, for this reason that I first began, more than a decade ago, to make the case for a roundabout or some other form of improvement at Miles Cross.
Resistance to this idea, over the years, has been quite considerable on the grounds of cost, and I understand that the cost would be considerable.
Recently, the situation has begun to change in two very important respects. Proposals for a waste transfer station – which caused enormous debate in the Bridport area for many years – now seem to be moving pretty firmly towards a solution involving the Broomhills site.
This seems clearly to increase the strength of the argument for major improvements a little further to the west at Miles Cross, since the traffic flows will increase.
This subject was discussed at a meeting in Bridport that I chaired last week – which also brought out the second significant change in the scene, namely the proposal in the local plan for a large number of houses at Vearse Farm (which could provide financing for major improvements of the junction).
In a good-tempered rational and useful discussion, a wide range of residents, parish, town, district and county councillors all concluded that, as well as looking again at the speed of traffic along this section of road, we should seek to join up the thinking on the waste transfer station, the new development and safety at and around Miles Cross.
It is an exciting thought that we might be able to plan our way through this using the new opportunities to overcome both the old and the new threats.