Quest for more parking restrictions gets councillors' backing

Matthew Evans with Oliver Letwin

Matthew Evans with Oliver Letwin

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Dorchester reporter

COUNCILLORS have vowed to back residents in their quest for parking restrictions in the Queen’s Avenue area.

Home owners in the area have repeatedly been calling for a solution to major road safety issues.

Residents again turned out at a meeting of Dorchester Town Council’s planning and environment committee to highlight their concerns. They claimed that the combination of cars parked down both sides of Queen’s Avenue and thousands of children heading to and from school meant it was only a matter of time before a serious or fatal accident occurred.

The residents claimed that the problem was largely caused by people working in the town parking in the road all day, and it had got worse since residents’ parking restrictions were introduced in neighbouring Coburg Road.

Matthew Evans, who lives in Clarence Road, said his road was equally affected and residents of Lime Close also voiced their concerns.

Mr Evans, who recently met with West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin to discuss his concerns, said Clarence Road also had the problem of being used as a rat run by traffic that should be on Weymouth Avenue and urged the council to consider a 20mph speed limit.

He said: “We ask for some sort of restrictions because it is a gauntlet.”

Committee chairman Susie Hosford said the council was conscious of the need to look at the wider issue of parking in Dorchester, rather than just looking at it on a case by case basis and pushing problems from one location to another.

She said: “We are very conscious of the need to look at the whole process.”

Mayor of Dorchester Stella Jones said the safety of children going to school had been raised by the newly formed Dorchester Youth Council.

She said: “I think it’s something that are really concerned about, it’s a big problem.”

Cllr Trevor Jones said the strong showing by local residents at two drop in sessions, one to look at the Queen’s Avenue area specifically and one looking at the wider Victoria Park area, meant that Dorset County Council was now aware of the issues faced by residents.

He said: “What we have done is get these issues on the radar, nobody in officialdom of whatever council they work for or sit on can say they don’t know there is a big traffic and parking issue on the west side of Dorchester.”

Cllr Trevor Jones proposed that the committee to the county council to say that they are aware of the importance of the issues and are anxious to cooperate with the authority to come up with viable and affordable solutions in the next year to draw up through the appropriate traffic regulation orders.

The proposal was backed by the committee.

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