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South Street closure poll result
Hundreds of people have voted in the Bridport News poll on whether South Street should be pedestrianised and the majority say: No.
But more people who took part in the paper and email vote and took the opportunity to leave their comments were in favour of at least a trial closure, with the vote being 54 per cent in favour.
In the web poll the no vote came out much more strongly, with a 70 per cent to 30 per cent saying the street should remain open.
More than 450 people took part in the ballot which on the topic which has galvanised the town after the enforced closure due to the gas main works last year.
The No voters raised the issue of damage to trade, lack of suitable alternative traffic routes through the town and big distances for people to travel to go about their daily lives.
The yes vote believed that pedestrianisation, either permanently or for market days and special events, would make Bucky Doo Square into a more attractive and useable area and would bring more trade to the shops.
A detailed report on reviewing the options for traffic changes to South Street will be considered in the summer by the town council.
At the planning and highways committee mayor David Rickard said: “I recognise it will be the summer before we get to any conclusions but I would not want that to read like we are not looking at it until the summer “I think we need to start looking at all the issues now so we know all the background.”
Coun Phil Lathey said he hoped residents of Alexandra Road were going to be asked for their views.
“When South Street shuts, unfortunately traffic uses Skilling as a rat-run and not slowly either. It is something we need to look at.
“They may be further out of town but they get a lot of the backlash and we need to look at access for emergency vehicles to South Street.
“When the roadworks were on it was extremely difficult and there were huge delays because a lot of emergency services weren’t told on the day and they were actually getting to the town hall and realising it was shut and that was delaying care getting to people to the area.
“I can’t comment on certain things but I can say lives will be lost if access is not maintained.”
Coun Sarah Williams said there would be wide consultation.
“We would be talking to everybody,” she pointed out.
Town clerk Bob Gillis said the consultation was being put back to the summer because it is such a big undertaking.
He said: “If you look back to 2001 the consultation was a massive job.
“To make sure we do it properly we will prepare a full report and then it is for members to decide if you want to go out to consultation and to agree its scope and timescale.
“The final decision would be the Dorset County Council but they will want to see a recommendation from the town council.”