By Jennifer Mulcahey

YOU have had your say – and you are not keen on the idea of pedestrianising South Street.

A public consultation into the trial closure of the road, between the junction of Gundry Lane and the town hall, has revealed that 69 per cent of those who took part are against the idea.

Bridport Town Council agreed that a consultation exercise be undertaken on town centre traffic, including seeking views on a trial closure of South Street and town centre speed limits, back in March.

Since then, 1,300 people have submitted their thoughts on whether or not they think a temporary, three-month closure of the road should go ahead.

The majority of those who took part in the consultation – 82 per cent – said they were from Bridport, while eight per cent live near or work in the town.

While 73 per cent of the town’s business owners were against the trial closure, so were 76 per cent of visitors.

Mark Dicker, of Animal House, was instrumental in setting up a Facebook page to oppose the plans.

He said: “It seems every six or seven years a new group of councillors comes along and tries to revive these ridiculous proposals.

“I can’t think of one benefit that this scheme would have, and so many arguments against it – and pretty much every trader in South Street agrees with me on this.

“If they are going to spend that kind of money there are so many other ways to do so - by improving parking, for example.”

Plans for a trial closure were made by the town council after it agreed a brief to Dorset County Council for feasibility work on town centre traffic, including South Street. The results of the feasibility study were reported to the council in March 2017, and found that in order to accurately predict traffic flows, a three-month trial closure of the road should be considered.

A similar consultation back in 2001 revealed that more than 60 per cent of the residents who responded supported the closure of South Street on market days. A number of traders opposed the closure and the proposal was not taken forward at the time.

The idea has divided people in Bridport; concerns have been raised that closing the street could add to existing traffic problems across the town and traders have been vocal about the impact it could have on their businesses.

But the consultation revealed that the two issues most would like to see improved are

available car parking and improving the movement of traffic around the town.

Last week, as reported in the News, traffic was backed up along South Street for hours after a two-car crash near the Crown roundabout led to the closure of part of the A35.

The results of the recent consultation will be discussed by the town council at its next full meeting on November 21.