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People power in West Bay forces council U-turn
WEST Bay traders and residents are jubilant that ‘people power’ has forced a U-turn on the hated new pinch point.
The pinch-point was put in in March as part of West Dorset District Council’s £1.25 million West Bay ‘enhancement’ scheme.
Such was the anger at the traffic changes in the bay it prompted the setting up of West Bay Community Forum which then campaigned vociferously to get the pinch point removed – saying it was an accident waiting to happen.
The district council announced this week it had listened and would be reverting to two-way traffic and making it easier for cyclists to cross the rumble strip. The new design will need to pass a safety audit and if it does the changes will be made in spring 2014.
West Dorset District Council leader Robert Gould said: "We have listened to comments raised by the local community about the environmental improvements in West Bay.
"It is quite clear that there is local support for changes to the pinch point and I am pleased to confirm that that work is underway to make this happen."
West Bay business owner Lindsey Blair summed up how traders feel.
She said: “Hallelujah! We are absolutely delighted.
“From the very first meeting we had I said if they put that pinch point there people would end up queuing to the Crown roundabout and I was right.
“We know that is what has been happening this summer.
“It is true we have had a very good summer but we could have had a better one.
“I personally at least once in every week see an example of road rage on that roundabout because nobody knows who has the right of way.”
County, district and town councillor Ros Kayes, who helped campaigners, said: “I want to thank the members of the West Bay Community Forum and individuals who have spent so much of their spare time gathering evidence about the problems caused by the pinch point. This is a real example of community co-operation and of councillors working together.
“I think that something has also been learned about the consultation process. Finally I would like to thank the senior county and district council officers who were so supportive of the proposed changes . It goes to prove that councils sometimes can listen .
“This may not be a change as quick as we would have liked to see it - but we have got there in the end.”
Coun David Tett added: “I am very pleased that the officers at West Dorset have taken on board the concerns of those at West Bay most affected. However we are to be a little patient a little longer.”
Symondsbury Parish Councillor Malcolm Leighton said: “I am pleased to see that common sense has prevailed at last.”
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