Alliance against road building
PRESS RELEASE 16th March 2006
WEYMOUTH RELIEF ROAD NOT NEEDED FOR OLYMPICS SAYS TRANSPORT SELECT COMMITTEE
Today the Transport Select Committee concluded that the proposed £100 million Weymouth Relief Road  was not needed for the sailing part of the 2012 Olympic Games, nor was it ever included in the successful bid, as claimed in evidence from Dorset County Council . In their Going for Gold report published today  they recommend the Department for Transport make this clear with the council. The Committee also recommends that the transport provisions for the Games must respect the natural environment and local residents . The proposed Relief Road would run through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, bronze age burial mounds, ancient woodland, and create extra noise for 3000 homes.
The report concluded that:
97. Mr Butler [Director of Dorset County Council] cited the Weymouth Relief Road as one of these necessary improvements, but this was not identified in the London Olympic Candidature File. The only necessary transport upgrade guaranteed there for the sailing events is the widening of part of the London to Weymouth railway line. Further evidence to the Committee revealed that there have been strong objections on environmental grounds to Dorset County Council's proposal for the Weymouth Relief Road. The proposed Weymouth Relief Road, cited by Dorset County Council as necessary for Olympic transport, did not however feature in the London Olympic Candidature file. This uncertainty must be resolved, and we look to the Department to take the lead in doing so.
(para 97, Going for Gold, Transport Select Committee Third Report of Session 2005-6, also recommendation 25 of the Conclusions and Recommendations, )
It also concluded that:
82. Many of the Olympic and Paralympic venues are situated in areas of natural
beauty in which pedestrian and cycling access could be further developed,
for example, areas close to the River Thames. We expect those responsible
for Olympic transport to be alive both to the sensitive natural environment
in London and other Olympic locations, and to the wellbeing of participants
and local residents, when designing access arrangements for the various Olympic
(para 82, and also recommendation 20, )
Campaigners against the road joined the committee's call for the Department for Transport to make it clear to Dorset County Council that the Weymouth Relief Road was never part of the Olympics bid, and that they remain committed to delivering an environmentally sustainable Games, which does not increase traffic, or mean driving a road through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Campaigners demanded that the promised upgrade to the London to Weymouth railway line be delivered as soon as possible.
The Candidate File bid document included a $496 million upgrade to the London
to Weymouth railway line. It is recommended that Dorset County Council stop
lobbying for an environmentally destructive roads, and lobby for an immediate
start to the rail upgrade.
Rebecca Lush of Road Block said:
"We are grateful to the select committee for finally making it clear to Dorset County Council that this road was not part of the successful bid. It is now time for the council to stop misleading local people that this destructive road is necessary for the Games. The bid was won on promoting sustainable travel and rail upgrades in Weymouth, not driving roads through Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and housing estates. The council now have a chance to start promoting sustainable travel arrangements for the Games."
Contact Howard Thomas of Dorset CPRE on 01297 489445 or David Peacock on 01297 560805, or Rebecca Lush of Road Block on 07854 693067
Notes to Editors:
 In written evidence on 7 September 2005 Mr Miles Butler,
Director of Dorset County Council claimed the final outtrun costs of the road
could be approximately £100 million due to increased construction costs.
 Para 97 is here
Para 25 of the Conclusions and Recommendations is here
 Full report is here
 Para 82 is here
Para 20 of the Conclusions and Recommendations is here