THE controversial pedestrian puffin crossing for Lyme Regis has been approved by Dorset County Council (DCC).

The council’s cabinet met today (Wednesday) to discuss its installation in Broad Street and gave the scheme the green light.

The approval follows months of discussion and campaigning, with more than 600 people signing a petition to have it installed between the Joules store and Pug and Puffin shop.

But due to loss of on-road car parking spaces, it was recommended for refusal by DCC’s highways officer to the county council’s regulatory committee.

Despite this, the committee recommended the crossing be approved when it went to the cabinet’s meeting today, as well as recommending the site of the bus stop outside the Co-op be moved further up the road to reduce the number of car parking spaces lost.

Lyme Regis Town Council then decided to withdraw its support for this scheme in December, despite pleas from residents that Lyme needed a pedestrian crossing.

Announcing the approval on social media, district and county councillor, Daryl Turner, said: “I am happy to announce that the cabinet at Dorset County Council approved the puffin crossing in Broad Street, Lyme Regis today.

“As a cabinet member at Dorset County Council, I have looked at the many issues raised and took account of various forms of communication on the puffin crossing in Lyme Regis.

“I believe, for reasons of safety and equality, that we had to support the crossing to aid the safe passage of those less able in our community and for our visitors to the town.

“I have met with officers in Broad Street recently and believe we have a pragmatic solution.

“This initial review shows that there does appear to be some scope to mitigate some, or all, of the parking lost for the proposed puffin crossing. This would be subject to detailed design, consultation, transport regulation orders and discussions with the bus companies.

“To gain the best overall result from this, I believe we need to treat all these issues as a single scheme and therefore added a third recommendation to the two, unchanged, recommendations from the regulatory committee.

“This addition was that I work with officers to look at the package of measures highlighted in the update report to mitigate the loss of parking spaces in Broad Street and investigate funding for the whole scheme.”