Dorset Council looks to turn temporary into permanent in Weymouth

Dorset Council is considering permanent changes to the road layouts in a part of Weymouth to help enhance the area for families, businesses and active travel.

The council has now started a consultation process on the proposals which would see the removal of parking spaces and a cycle lane created.

The move follows temporary traffic restrictions put in place along both sides of the harbour over the summer to aid social distancing – a move that was controversial among many harbour users and residents.

With additional money secured from the Department for Transport, Dorset Council is now looking into permanently enhancing this side of the harbour. But the council has stated that these proposals do not include pedestrianisation of the harbourside.

Now, according to teh council, the aim is to improve the public space along Custom House Quay, between South Parade and St Mary Street in the area, to create a safer space for walking and cycling, enhance the area for outside dining and improve air quality by reducing traffic along the route by removing parking.

Highways work will include: widening footways on both sides of the road, providing loading bays for harbour businesses and vessels, installing a contra-flow, on-road cycle lane (towards Pavilion) – cyclists heading towards Town Bridge will be in the road with the one-way flow of traffic. Cyclists heading towards The Pavilion will use a dedicated cycle lane, which will be against the flow of traffic. There will also be: provision of dedicated disabled parking bays, additional outdoor seating space for hospitality businesses, provision of cycle parking and the installation of benches, planters and safety bollards.

Cllr Ray Bryan, Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: “With a further £438,000 awarded to us from the Active Travel Fund, and the removal of the disused railway tracks along the harbour, we have a fantastic opportunity to reshape and enhance the harbour environment in Weymouth.”

“We want to hear from businesses, residents, families and visitors to get a full, rounded picture of how Custom House Quay could better work as a mixed-use environment.”

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