ALMOST three quarters of Dorchester residents who commented on a controversial traffic scheme for the town have voiced objections.

Figures revealed by Dorset County Council show that of nearly 600 responses to its consultation on the Dorchester Transport and Environment Plan (DTEP), 73 per cent said they disagreed or strongly disagreed with the current proposed scheme.

In contrast to that, more than half – 55 per cent – said that they agreed or strongly agreed with the objectives of the scheme while 33 per cent said they disagreed.

Proposals for the scheme include making High West Street and part of High East Street one-way and changing the direction of flow on some roads in a bid to improve air quality.

The council’s consultation on DTEP saw 232 paper questionnaires filled in and 284 completed online while the authority received a further 78 emails and letters.

Council bosses are now vowing to take the comments from the public into account as the plans move forward, with three options due to go before the cabinet.

They are to proceed with the current scheme with some amendments, to totally re-think the scheme or abandon it all together.

The report is likely to recommend to the committee that all suggestions are thoroughly analysed and any amendments to the scheme are tested for their impact on traffic and air quality.

If members agreed to take the scheme forward, further traffic modelling and air quality testing will take place in September and a further report would then go before the cabinet in the autumn before a final decision is made.

Spencer Flower, leader of the county council, said: “The results from the consultation will take some time to analyse, but once we have a clear picture of what people liked and disliked about the scheme we can move forward.

“The whole point of consultation was for us to get an accurate understanding of public feeling for the scheme and we will ensure that the suggestions of local people are considered.”

Tim Norman, chief engineer for Dorset County Council, added: “We would like to assure everyone who has commented on the DTEP scheme that we will carefully consider any views and suggestions made. “Nothing is set in stone with this plan yet and the design team are keen to look at analysing and testing the ideas received.”

The full report, which will go to councillors at the end of February, will be available to view online at from February 18.