A PETITION calling for a controversial traffic scheme in West Bay to be scrapped has gone before councillors.
Michael Nicks from the West Bay Community Forum presented a petition signed by 1,484 local people calling for the pinch point in West Bay Road to be removed and the priority turning at the shops to revert towards the harbour to West Dorset District Council.
He thanked the council and its colleagues at Dorset County Council for agreeing to remove the pinch point adjacent to the Haddon House Hotel but said two further issues relating to safety remained.
Mr Nicks said these were the need to change the priority turn at the southern end of West Bay Road towards the harbour and the need for a designated pedestrian crossing adjacent to St John’s Church to replace the island in the road which was removed.
He said forum members had done vehicle counts to prove the vast majority of vehicles use the turn by the shops to head towards the harbour while he had also received concerns from Harbour House residential home about the need for a crossing.
Mr Nicks said: “Please do not let one of the most dangerous turns on a road continue and inhibit the movement of residents and business who need to move to and from the harbour effectively, efficiently and safely.”
Local councillor David Tett backed Mr Nicks’ calls to return to the old priority at the harbour, claiming the new scheme had not worked.
He said: “While I appreciated the thinking behind the scheme of enhancements was to make West Bay more pedestrian friendly, in practice it does not work and causes unnecessary frustration.”
There was further support from other local members.
Coun Sandra Brown said: “I think it is very important that we heed these people who have made the petition and get it put right as soon as we can.”
Coun Ros Kayes added: “We need some sort of crossing and we need that priority to revert to the way it was before.”
Members agreed to refer the issues raised by the West Bay Community Forum to its policy committee.
They also backed a suggestion to write to Dorset County Council asking them to consider reverting the priority at the harbour to its original state.