Concerns have been raised ahead of the start of 12 weeks’ work to resurface car parks at a tourist hotspot.

West Bay’s Bridport Arms car park, Station Yard car park and the overspill area of the West Bay Road car park have been identified by West Dorset District Council as being in poor condition and resurfacing work is due to start on Monday.

Business owner Tom Robinson, of the Watch House Café, is worried about the effect the work will have on trade.

“The problem for us is that where we’re located, the line of sight will be obstructed by the construction work,” said Mr Robinson. “People won’t see us and only people who already know about us will come in.

“The timing is not ideal but the work is necessary as people are not able to park down by the beach - so for that reason it’s a necessary evil. West Bay relies on tourism, so construction should have been carried out before now because of the impact this will have on loss of trade, however I’d rather it be done now than in the summer. Timing is an issue.”

Work on the car parks will be phased,with one car park fully closed at any time, and the council has announced it expects minor disruption during the works and will clearly identify closed car parks.

Barry Gall has lived in Bridport for 67 years and enjoys fishing at West Bay. He too is concerned about the effects the work will have on tourism.

“I believe this could, and should, have all been completed weeks ago,” said Mr Gall. “What the visitors must say when they return home - God forbid. I went down there today and was greeted with the dredging still going on in the outer harbour, with all the silt being pumped on the west beach and restricted to the public. Most of the smaller boats have been unable to use moorings due to the dredging works. [We’re] still waiting for signs to say which car park will be closed first.”

Cllr John Russell, West Dorset District Council spokesman for environmental protection and assets, said the council had ‘purposely waited’ until April so that work can be completed before the summer holidays - and said it was not possible to carry out the work any earlier due to weather conditions.

“This type of work cannot be done during the winter months, and with the recent snow and icy conditions, it would have been impossible,” said Cllr Russell. “The weather at this time of year is much more favourable for carrying out groundworks. The holiday season usually extends well into September so if we started then, we would run into the start of winter.We have purposely waited until after the Easter holidays to start this so that it can be completed before the summer holidays.

“The result of the works will be additional capacity in the car parks, as well as much improved surfaces for visitors and residents to use. The improved car parks will accommodate more people in time for the peak summer seasons.”

Work will take place Monday to Friday, with no weekend working anticipated, and updates will be posted on