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Public invited to have say on £5m traffic scheme for Dorchester
11:04am Monday 14th October 2013 in News
MEMBERS of the public are being given the chance to have their say on major changes proposed to traffic flows in Dorchester.
As part of the Dorset Transport and Environment Plan (DTEP), led by Dorset County Council, High West Street and parts of High East Street will be made one way from November next year, with new traffic signals at the junction of Princes Street and Albert Road and some ‘banned turns’ at Great Western Junction.
The scheme aims to improve air quality, enhance the environment of the town centre and protect its historic buildings.
However, before the plans are finalised local residents and businesses will have their chance to give their opinions on the proposed scheme at a series of public exhibitions over the next five weeks.
The exhibition will be on display at the Dorchester Library and Learning Centre from Thursday this week to Friday, October 25, with members of the county council’s highways team on hand to answer questions on some of those days.
There will also be a staffed exhibition in South Street on Wednesday, October 23.
Full details of the scheme and an online questionnaire can also be found at dorsetforyou.com/dtep
Hilary Cox, the county council's cabinet member for environment, said: “Dorchester is a beautiful and historic place but not designed for 21st century traffic.
“To ensure its future and to enhance the present we need to take appropriate action now.
“The proposed traffic flow systems will make sure that traffic through the heart of the town is reduced and by doing so, the town will be protected and improved for residents and visitors.”
The DTEP plans were first drawn up a decade ago but were shelved due to funding issues and major changes taking place in and around the town.
The plans were revived after the government issues a formal warning about air quality in High East and High West Streets due to traffic congestion and required West Dorset District Council to prepare an action plan to tackle the problem.
The revised scheme now takes into account changes such as the Brewery Square development, the new West Dorset District Council offices in Charles Street, the Weymouth Relief Road and the expansion of Poundbury.
The £4.9million scheme will be carried out in two phases, with the second part due to be introduced in 2015 after the initial changes have been monitored and assessed.
A third phase may then follow if funding is made available.
The plans have been drawn up by the county council with the support of West Dorset District Council, Dorchester Town Council, Dorchester BID (Business and Improvement District) and the Dorchester Chamber of Commerce.
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