£17k widening cost but delays over its funding

DEVELOPMENTS: The controversial pinch point on West Bay Road

DEVELOPMENTS: The controversial pinch point on West Bay Road

First published in News Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

WORK to widen a pinch point installed at West Bay will cost £17,000 and should be carried out as soon as possible, councillors will be told.

West Bay residents are now being asked to vote for what they would like to see in place of the controversial traffic calming measure next to Haddon House Hotel.

West Dorset District councillors will discuss the issue at a meeting of the executive committee on Tuesday, July 15.

A report to be presented to members recommends widening the pinch point should be a priority.

A further £10,000 will be set aside to put a ‘more appropriate’ crossing in place, the report says – but this will be carried out in the next financial year if it is not possible to fund the work this year.

Councillors will be told that there is no money left in the budget from the £1.25m West Bay enhancement scheme and further work will have to be funded from the district council’s reserves.

A spokesman for the district council said the highways work in West Bay as part of the scheme cost £310,000, but a specific figure for the cost of the pinch point alone is not available.

Residents at a meeting of the West Bay Community Forum asked if drivers were now getting used to the layout, and whether further changes would be more confusing.

The road design narrows access in West Bay Road to prevent two-way traffic, forcing vehicles leaving the harbour to give way to motorists on their way in.

More than 1,000 people signed a petition to get rid of the pinch point after it was installed last year.

Four schemes have now been suggested as alternative layouts: l to put a red band of paint from the church to the shop. This would have to be re-painted every year l to put a strip of red asphalt in the same area l for the whole area from the church to the shops to be covered in red asphalt and become a pedestrian priority area l to put in a raised pedestrian crossing area.

Chris Cherry asked members of the West Bay Community Forum to vote by email on which option they prefer, so he can relay the information to West Dorset District Council.

Chairing the meeting, the Reverend Philip Ringer said: “It is still not right in my view but it looks as if we will have to play a very long game with this.

“Certainly the district council and county council are trying to wear us down in the hope we will go away.

“I suspect that we will not.”

The removal of the pinch point has been welcomed by Bridport Town Council.

Leader of the town council, Councillor Sarah Williams, said she hoped to see the work carried out ‘as soon as possible’.

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