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Growing concerns over traffic system in town
CAMPAIGNERS are hopeful that council chiefs will make changes to Weymouth’s much criticised traffic system after they agreed to review it.
Dorset County Council has been under pressure to sort out the ‘intelligent’ light-controlled system following a barrage of complaints that it isn’t working or that at least certain aspects need changing.
Park District resident and former community group leader Ken Whatley initially led calls for a public meeting amid growing concerns. That hasn’t happened – although council officers did invite him to County Hall for discussions.
While they haven’t confirmed changes will be made, chief executive Debbie Ward promised to look at it again, acknowledging ‘safety concerns’ which had been raised.
She will be reporting back to Mr Whatley and another resident, Dave Burchill, at a private meeting tomorrow.
But there has been criticism of increased congestion and problem junctions. A poll on our website found that 95 per cent of people agreed the scheme wasn’t working.
The local Green Party said its own surveys indicated more than two thirds of people thought the junctions near Asda and on Boot Hill did not work.
At an earlier meeting with DCC, Mr Whatley and Mr Burchill complained there had been a ‘criminal waste’ of £18million on the Weymouth Transport Pack-age and claimed the system was ‘worse than before’ with increased pollution, longer queues and extended journey times.
They raised a number of points including: n Gridlock on the Esplanade.
- Unclear lane signage.
- Efficient floral roundabouts replaced by ‘ugly’ junctions surrounded by weeds.
- ‘Dangerous’ right turn at Asda junction.
- Queues around Boot Hill and need for improved traffic light sequencing.
- Blocked King Street/Queen Street junction.
- No bus/rail interchange Mr Whatley said: “The council officers said they would look at the issues we had raised. Whether they will do anything about it is another matter but we’ll see what they say at our next meeting.
“They didn’t say no but they didn’t say yes either.
“There may be things that can be tweaked.”
Mr Burchill said he was surprised at the earlier meeting to hear that council officers admitted there were issues that could be addressed.
Chief executive of Dorset County Council, Debbie Ward, said: “Mr Whatley and Mr Burchill have raised clear safety concerns, in particular at the Asda junction and in the King Street corridor. We have agreed to review the issues raised and we will be speaking to the colleagues in the borough council as it affects Weymouth seafront.
“I have also agreed to meet again to exchange information and clarify if any changes can be made.
“We are pleased to have met Mr Whatley and Mr Burchill and to have listened to their concerns.”
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