TRAFFIC lights and a new 50mph speed limit are being introduced to control traffic on the A35 now the £8 million Broomhills waste transfer site has been approved.
Despite strong concerns about the site from local residents and business leaders Dorset County Council agreed the seven-day-a-week facility off the A35 by the Crown roundabout.
Opponents say it will make an already dangerous road far worse.
Symondsbury parish councillor David Wragg said: “It is dangerous now, heaven knows what it is going to be like with a set of traffic lights there.
“It is certainly a fact that statistically 30 per cent of road traffic accidents of all types are caused by excessive speed. If you have a long straight road in front of you, you are going to go like hell down it.”
Both Symondsbury Parish and Bridport Town Councils both wanted to see a 40mph limit.
He said the Highways Agency had already agreed to extend the 40mph limit from Chideock to Miles Cross - which would mean vehicles can accelerate as they approach the new recycling centre.
He said it would give no one satisfaction to say “I told you so” when there are more accidents.
Access to the waste site will be via a signal-controlled junction on the A35. Only vehicles turning right out of the site will trigger a red light, with all other vehicles using filter lanes. There will be no right hand turn coming from Chideock. Vehicles will have to go round the roundabout.
The Highways Agency has insisted on the reduced 50mph speed limit and speed reducing features.
Business leaders say inevitable traffic jams will drive tourists away.
Scott Condliffe told county councillors that tourism was worth around £50m to Bridport and the surrounding area and the proposed scheme would have a major negative impact.
He said: “This application will make a road which is at capacity in the summer much worse.
“Choked roads around Bridport will have a major economic impact.
“Tourists having experienced slow traffic will simply choose to go somewhere else.
“Why should a small number of vehicles accessing the waste transfer facility have such a disproportionate impact on the other thousands of road users on the A35?”
But MP Oliver Letwin welcomed the decision.
He said: “I am delighted that, after many years of trying to resolve this thorny problem, we will now have a solution to waste transfer in the Bridport area.
“And, as a bonus, this will help us to establish more sensible, more consistent and safer speed limits on the A35.”
Hilary Cox, chairman of the Dorset Waste Partnership joint committee, said: “I am delighted that a positive conclusion has been reached after such a long wait.
“The new facility is integral to achieving our long-term vision for transforming waste management in Dorset, increasing recycling and improving efficiency.
“It means that people in the west of Dorset will finally get a modern waste facility to meet their current and future needs.”
Construction is set to begin next month with the centre expected to open in autumn 2015.