Preston Beach Road, Weymouth

The community

Preston Beach Road is a major access route between Weymouth and east Dorset (the Purbeck coast, Poole and Bournemouth) and an important link between Preston, Bowleaze Cove, Overcombe and Weymouth. Overcombe and Bowleaze Cove is an area with substantial homes and flats as well as commercial businesses (shops, beach restaurant and public house), car park and public toilets. Lodmoor RSPB Nature Reserve is a large area of low-lying land located directly behind Preston Beach Road, between Weymouth and Overcombe. It is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Coastal defences

Preston Beach Road is currently defended by a sea wall, a rock groyne at the southern end of the road and ongoing beach nourishment schemes. There is also a groyne protecting the Holiday Park and Riviera Hotel at Bowleaze Coveway.

Draft Shoreline Management Plan 2: Policy and Implications

The short and medium term policy (up to 2060) is to continue to ‘Hold the Line' along the Preston Beach Road. However, the long term policy will move towards ‘Managed Realignment'. This means maintenance of the current sea wall and beach nourishment schemes will continue until 2060, after which it will be too technically challenging, expensive and unsustainable to carry this level of coastal defence forward. This will have implications for the maintenance of the road during large storms e.g. breaching of the sea wall, overtopping of seawater onto the road, frequent damage to the road and possible road closures. This will have a knock-on effect to Overcombe, Lodmoor, Preston and Bowleaze Cove in terms of access to Weymouth, as well as implications for businesses which depend on this road for access.

Click here to find out more about the Shoreline Management Plan.

The issues

At some point in the future, there is the possibility that Preston Beach Road could be subject to closure. This would sever an important eastern access route into and out of Weymouth, and expose several hundred houses in Lodmoor to increased risk of tidal flooding. It would also have major implications for traffic management through Preston, Lodmoor and other routes in and out of Weymouth, particularly the Weymouth Relief Road currently under construction. In addition to these traffic issues, there would be an impact on the existing marshland habitats, potential risks to properties and a landfill site.

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The Jurassic Coast: A Mighty Tale

A light-hearted python-esque animated film by Tim Britton.