The politician visited Clarence Road to hear residents’ concerns over safety issues caused by cars parked down both sides of the road and the volume of traffic along the route, combined with hundreds of children walking in the area on the way to and from school.
Clarence Road resident Matthew Evans said residents struggled to see to get in and out of drives and the number of parked cars down both sides of the road made it ‘lethal’ for schoolchildren crossing with reduced visibility.
He said he wanted to see double yellow lines down the full length of the road and the whole area made into a 20mph zone as the speed and volume of moving traffic was also an issue with the route often used as a rat-run by traffic that should be on Weymouth Avenue.
The road has previously been called ‘the most dangerous road in Dorchester’ by Poundbury resident and education campaigner Margaret Morrissey.
Mr Evans said: “At the risk of sounding dramatic, the twin problems of parking and traffic represent a sleeping monster.
“It is only a matter of time before the unthinkable happens, and this is a chance for the council to buck their reactionary trend of ‘wait until there has been a fatality’ and to prevent this from happening.”
Mr Evans said he would also like to see a restriction on traffic in the morning for school and residents’ access only until 9am.
He added: “We hope that logic and good sense prevail.”
Dorset County Council recently held a drop-in session at the Thomas Hardye School for residents in the surrounding area to come and share any concerns they had about parking, traffic and road safety.
Mr Letwin, who also visited Windsor Road to talk about traffic issues, said he appreciated the residents’ concerns in Clarence Road and vowed to do all he can to help push through any measures proposed.
He said: “I think there clearly is a problem here of this road being used as a rat run because of the crowding of Weymouth Avenue and there is also clearly a problem with the amount of parking that goes on on it.
“The residents are taking it up with the town council and if the town council supports some changes I will certainly try and push them through the county council to get them in.”
Mr Letwin added: “All of this area is obviously a very important route for children coming to school and they should have safe routes to school.”