A CITIZENS Panel is being created to discuss the way forward for transport plans in Dorchester.

Three councils have been working to examine proposals put forward by members of the public in response to last year’s consultation on the Dorchester Transport and Environment Plan (DTEP).

A total of 597 written responses were generated from members of the public following the consultation in 2013 and these contained 200 suggestions. These suggestions were further condensed into 38 separate issues to assess whether they were either too expensive, unachievable, do not meet the objectives of DTEP or simply wouldn’t work.

Councillors and officers from Dorset County Council, West Dorset District Council and Dorchester Town Council have met to discuss these issues and found that 14 had potential and should be analysed in more detail. These will be considered by a Citizens Panel being established by the town council made up of residents from across the town.

Councillor Andy Canning, chairman of the group leading the way forward for DTEP said: “We are determined to listen to the people of Dorchester and surrounding areas to create a scheme that will succeed in making Dorchester better. Some good suggestions were put forward through the consultation process and there are four top areas of concern that we are hoping to address”.

Dorset County Council Cabinet member for Environment and the Economy, Peter Finney said: “We must get this right. This scheme, if it goes ahead, will have a direct impact on the residents of Dorchester which is why it is important that we listen to their feedback. The Citizens Panel will have a major say in which of the proposals for change end up in the final plan”. Following a report which will go to Cabinet in September, subject to approval, further traffic modelling will be carried out to make sure the proposals work. The new proposals will then go forward for full public re-engagement in 2015.