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West Bay traders want to take control of harbour's future
WEST Bay businesses and residents are fighting to keep control of the character of the harbour following what they regard as disastrous alterations to the bay.
And despite the fury over the current road enhancement scheme, locals are adamant they will have something to shout about as the anticipated “Broadchurch effect” kicks in. The hugely successful ITV drama series has shown off the Bay to millions and local traders want to be able to cash in on the worldwide publicity. After more than 100 people vented their anger at a public meeting about a new road scheme designed to take traffic away from the harbourside, businesses in West Bay have formed a new Business Forum.
Ann Guppy of Prototech Electronics said it was just the first step.
“Now we need to get residents on board, whether that is through an economic forum or a community partnership. “We are planning a meeting after Easter and we need to keep the momentum going.
“We did all feel very let down, but now I would say the mood is optimistic and perhaps we can actually gain something from this.
“There is a lot to do and we want to hear from people who can spare the time to help.”
Since the issue erupted local councillors have been busy liasing with district council officials to see what can be done to allay traders’ fears.
Coun Gillian Summers said she was meeting West Dorset parking chief Chris Graves today to ensure that any changes made would be in the best interests of the traders and visitors.
“I have had several meetings with the officers responsible for developing the scheme and they have asked me to stress that their intention was to produce the best possible outcome for West Bay, and if, after a bedding-in period through the coming season, anything is not working they will ensure it is altered accordingly,” she added.
Coun Ros Kayes said she had raised issues including the locking the main car park at night and a lack of signs to promote businesses and attractions. The lack of a pedestrian refuge on the new road between St John’s Church and the shops was also raised.
She said: “I am hoping that immediate changes can be made to the Haddon House roundabout and the lack of a crossing where the pedestrian refuge was taken away outside St John’s Church. We also spoke about the changed priority at the junction.”