Plans are in place to extend the Lyme Regis park and ride – and help to tackle the town’s parking problems.

Currently the site, on Charmouth Road, is open for six weeks during the summer. But plans have been lodged with West Dorset District Council to ask for permission to run the service from the end of March to the end of October.

The application states that the site would not necessarily be open for the whole of this period – but as and when required.

A planning statement lodged as part of the application reads: “The proposal is to extend the duration that the land can be used as a park and ride car park. Currently it is permitted for six weeks during the summer but the applicant and Lyme Regis Town Council would benefit with the option to use the car park from the end of March to the end of October. Vehicular movements fluctuate in Lyme Regis depending on the time of year and specific popular events, e.g. the Red Arrows. The proposal seeks permission to have the ability to use the land as a car park as and when required.

“Lyme Regis Town Council has confirmed that there is an agreement with a bus operator willing to provide a service between the car park and the town centre.”

The application also seeks permission to install grass reinforcement mesh to help protect the grass at the entrance to the site.

Summarising the case, the applicant states in the report: “Lyme Regis, as one of Dorset’s principal tourist areas, needs to have the facilities to cope with large volumes of traffic and visitors. Providing a park and ride car park will help manage the traffic movements and alleviate the pressure on the town centre.”

Highways England and the highways team at Dorset County Council have both indicated that they have no objections to the plans.

Cllr Cheryl Reynolds, chairman of Lyme Regis Town Council’s tourism, community and publicity committee, supported the idea.

Responding to a statutory consultation, she said: “This is extremely important to Lyme Regis at the present time as there is no provision for Park and ride on the other side of town due to ongoing discussions with East Dorset District Council (EDDC).

“It will be essential for this to be passed as soon as possible so that one Park and Ride can be provided for Easter as the town swells with visitors and parking is very limited.”

People can submit comments on the proposal until March 16. The plans will then be discussed by West Dorset District Council’s planning committee at a date to be confirmed.