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Public get first look at £4.9million Dorchester Transport and Environment Plan
PUBLIC consultation has started on the £4.9million Dorchester Transport and Environment Plan.
It is now time for members of the public 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 plans are online at dorsetforyou or at an exhibition at the Dorchester Library until this Friday.
Since the consultation opened last Friday residents have flocked to the library to see what roads might be affected and what initial plans are being suggested.
Project director Tim Norman at Dorset County Council said: “I hope we get a good response from the public consultation.
“People should come and see for themselves what the plans are and let us know their suggestions.
“Although this project is not new, the principles are still the same – we want to reduce the through traffic, enhance the area and protect the town’s historic heart.
“This is still early stages and we need to know what people think, any suggestions or difficulties they may have in order to move forward with the plan.”
At this early stage plans show that High West Street and part of High East Street could be made one-way and the direction of flow on some roads will be changed.
The scheme aims to improve air quality, enhance the environment of the town centre and protect its historic buildings.
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 issued 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.
Have your say
- There is a public exhibition in South Street today outside Boots where council staff will be on hand for enquiries.
- The library exhibition is open until Friday.
- There is also an online survey which can be filled out by visiting dorsetforyou.com/dtep before Monday 18 November.
- High West Street and part of High East Street are to be made one-way. Traffic will be able to go down High West Street as far as Church Street, but not up it.
- Instead of travelling up High West Street, traffic will be re-routed via Church Street, Acland Road, South Walks Road, Great Western Road, Damers Road and Williams Avenue.
- Travelling North-South and vice versa through the town (for example, from Dorchester Tesco to Charminster) will remain unchanged.
- There will be changes to Princes Street to minimise the impact on bus services.
- There will be changes to various junctions in the town, limiting the directions traffic can take and improving facilities for pedestrians and cyclists.
- Direction of flow on some roads will be changed.
- Support the economic prosperity of the town.
- Provide higher quality environment.
- Protect and enhance the historic fabric of the town.
- Reduce traffic speeds.
- Improve access for pedestrians, cyclists, the elderly and disabled.
- Maintain vehicular access for emergency, servicing and public transport.
- Provide accessible car parking.
- Disabled 81-year-old pensioner Esther Rose, below, of High West Street visited the exhibition to find out what crossings will be available to her.
She said: “I have been worried that the new one way system will be harder for me to cross the road and get about on my motorised scooter.
“I have yet to be convinced it will be better but I will put my suggestions forward.”
- Charminster resident the Rev Hugh Willis, below, visited the exhibition with concerns about how the plan will impact the traffic in his village.
He said: “We already have a problem with a high concentration of traffic in our small village and we feel this scheme could make it acutely worse.”
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