FLOODING on Dorchester’s bypass may not be fixed until next year, or the year after.

The ongoing floodwaters at the bypass junction near the Max Gate turning, has been a feature of the road for seven years, leading to occasional road closures.

At the moment the slip road is coned off from the Puddletown direction to stop vehicles hitting up to nine inches of standing water at speed, forcing  vehicles approaching the junction to make an abrupt turn, slowing bypass traffic in the process.

Further west along the road is another flood spot which has led to the bypass being closed, or partially closed, at least five times in recent weeks – with hundreds of vehicles, including lorries, being diverted through the town centre. On previous occasions the road has been closed it has taken drivers an hour to get from the Stinsford roundabout to the Top o’ Town.

Dorchester Town Council’s planning committee heard that the Highways Agency has no plans to do any work on the junction until the 2021-22 financial year.

“They put bollards out there but they don’t do anything about clearing the water away,” complained Cllr Stella Jones.

Cllr Fiona Kent-Ledger who has previously criticised the decision to build the busy road on a flood plain said she found the current situation completely unacceptable.

“They have not even bothered to tell us what they plan to do to fix it, only that they will do something in the next financial year,” she said.

Cllr Les Fry told the meeting that a motorcyclist could easily be unseated by hitting the water. He said that although there were now bollards blocking off the slip road there was still standing water across the mouth of the junction because nothing had been done to remove it.

Said Cllr Frances Hogwood: “This is completely unacceptable. Every time the road gets blocked off the town centre gets used as a bypass.”

The Highways Agency says it also plan to deal with flooding at the other end of the bypass, at the Monkey’s Jump roundabout, although that is also unlikely to start until next year.