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Demand for talks to solve Weymouth's under-fire traffic system
CALLS are being made for a public meeting to sort out Weymouth’s under-fire traffic system.
Council chiefs are being called upon to hear the concerns from people who are convinced aspects of the scheme need changing.
The Echo reported in August how residents and traders were complaining the jam-busting scheme wasn’t working. Dorset County Council officers said they had not seen evidence of long delays and the town was just busy.
However, council chiefs have now said they are now considering the idea of a meeting.
‘Intelligent’ traffic lights replaced roundabouts on the harbourside near Asda, either side of the Swannery bridge and at the top of King Street during 2010-11 for the Weymouth Transport Package.
It was funded by the Department of Transport as DCC looked to improve traffic flows.
The 18-month-long roadworks blitz to build it crippled the town – and now traffic lights have replaced roundabouts there has been criticism of increased congestion and problem junctions.
Hotspots include the junction near Asda, the Boot Hill corridor and the seafront.
A poll on our website of almost 650 people found that 95 per cent of people agreed the scheme wasn’t working. It was one of the website’s most popular polls.
Former Park District community group leader Ken Whatley wasn’t convinced the scheme would solve problems when he was shown plans in 2009 and his concerns remain.
He said problems include traffic unable to get out of Queen Street into King Street due to queuing vehicles blocking the junction.
Mr Whatley said it was time to have a public meeting to allow residents to voice their concerns. He suggested questions being put in advance to avoid a shouting match.
He said: “The traffic system is flawed.
“Ideally we’d like the roundabouts back but that’s not going to happen so let’s sit down and tell the council what’s wrong and come up with sensible suggestions.
“The least the officers can do is come along, and be prepared to listen.”
Manger of taxi firm Weyline Mandy Fry said a hatched box was required in King Street so vehicles can proceed out of Queen Street.
Long-time opponent of the scheme Ian Brooke said a meeting was a good idea, as long as officers came with an ‘open mind.’ He added: “In my view the scheme was rushed through without consideration.
“If anything they need to sort out the pinch-points on the Esplanade and the appalling mess at the junction near Asda.”
ONE OF THE MAIN CONCERNS
DORSET county councillor for Weymouth Mike Byatt said traffic problems were among the main issues of the doorstep when he was campaigning for election.
He said: “I have been following this up at County Hall to see if officers were going to review arrangements and see what might be done.
“I’m pleased to see a meeting could be taking place with local people. Officers should be meeting people face to face rather than discussing issues over the telephone or by email.”
COUNTY HALL TO CONSIDER REQUEST
DORSET County Council chief executive Debbie Ward said: “We are actively considering the request to hold a public meeting about the traffic light system in Weymouth, including discussions with individuals who have expressed concerns, to see what could be achieved.”
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