Lyme Regis: Plea for council to take action on Church Street bottleneck (From Bridport and Lyme Regis News)
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Lyme Regis: Plea for council to take action on Church Street bottleneck
BUSINESSES in Church Street in Lyme Regis say something must be done about the ‘ridiculous and dangerous’ traffic situation.
Their calls come after the latest incident in which an HGV lorry got wedged and hit the Guildhall window – just weeks after it was repaired after a previous accident.
Restaurant owner Antonio Gravili from Antonio’s Italian restaurant says he has lived with traffic problems in Church Street for 18 years but he is angry at suggestions the solution is to get lorries to only go up the street not down it.
Danny Anholt and wife Linzi West, of The Mermaid Shop, also say the traffic is intolerable and sooner or later someone will be badly hurt.
Mr Gravili said making the traffic go the other way would just result in vehicles hitting buildings on the left instead of the right.
He said: “It is not just the big lorries, it is the double decker buses.
“Only the other night two managed to get stuck together.
“They couldn’t go forwards or backwards. It happens all the time.
“The buses, coaches and big lorries should not come to Lyme Regis – they should unload people in the car parks.”
Mr Anholt said not only did they regularly witness buses and HGVs getting stuck and mounting the pavement, their home, built in 1750, is at risk.
Mr Anholt said it was not just lorries blindly following their sat navs but huge coaches, double decker buses and caravans that caused problems.
He said there should be a clearly signed and enforced lorry weight limit, buses should be re-routed and coaches made to unload their passengers in the Charmouth Road car park.
He said: “There is a very, very busy double decker bus route and they physically can’t pass outside our house so they have to mount the pavement in order to pass.
“I really question how they can justify it and whether they are allowed to have that frequency of buses at a place where they physically can’t pass.
“It is a danger to people who are walking on the pavement. People park up in the Charmouth Road car park in the summer particularly and they walk down with all their beach gear and their pushchairs on our pavement and the buses are mounting the pavement at the same time. It is an accident waiting to happen.”
A spokesman for First said: “We understand the concerns of local people. We train our drivers to a very high standard and proactively take steps to make them fully aware of all the potential risks associated with driving buses in areas like Lyme Regis, giving them the required skills and knowledge to help them navigate narrow and busy streets.
“The route that services X53 and 31 take is a key one and to avoid Church Street would cause significant disruption to the local service, affecting the ability of both local people and visitors, to access the town centre.”
A spokesman for Dorset County Council said: “We are aware of the issues around traffic in Lyme Regis. We have some restrictions in place in the town, which are aimed at keeping traffic flowing.
“However, we have no plans to further restrict delivery vans or buses as these are relied upon by local businesses and people.”