Ways to improve access to Bridport town centre for both pedestrians and drivers are being explored.

The News understands that a one-way scheme for South Street is among the issues that will be considered as part of the Access and Movement Study.

Authorities stress it is 'very early days' and nothing has been proposed at this stage. Residents and businesses will be asked for their views as part of the process.

The study is being led by Dorset Council in consultation with the town council and they are now in the process of 'gathering information'.

Building on aspirations in the Bridport Neighbourhood Plan, the study will be looking at ways to improve accessibility in the town centre for both pedestrians and traffic.

Improving access in Bridport town centre is a topic that has come up frequently in the past, with frequent debate over issues such as one-way systems and pedestrianisation of South Street.

Full pedestrianisation of South Street is not being discussed as part of the study.

Leader of Bridport Town Council Dave Rickard, said: “The study will look at various issues relating to the town. We will collect data which we can then come back to whenever specific issues come up.

"Everything will be looked into which is relevant to easy flow of people, traffic and market days. We are typically a market town and therefore have these problems like every other market town."

The Access and Movement study is described as ‘a study to set out actions to create a visually integrated, uncluttered and fully accessible streetscape for the main retail streets in the town centre.

Taking into account necessary resting places, pedestrian safety, access for those with mobility issues and the needs of people with disabilities.’

The study will explore the idea of defining and branding distinct 'quarters', identifying and suitably interpreting the distinct heritage assets of the neighbourhood plan area. It will eventually involve extensive consultation with the wider community, especially traders and businesses.

Town clerk Will Austin said: "At this point the study is at a very early stage in its development. Currently we are looking at how residents move around the town, which will eventually lead to discussions on how we can make movement easier.

"But for now we are just gathering information as a starting point, the entire process could take several years."

A spokesman for Dorset Council said: “Dorset Council is working with Bridport Town Council on a Access and Movement Study, the need for which was identified in the Bridport Area Neighbourhood Plan.

"Full pedestrianisation of South Street is not, at present, one of the options under consideration.

"Full details of any proposed changes will be subject to consultation in due course.”