SOMEONE needs to take responsibility for the bollards protecting shoppers in a pedestrianised area of Dorchester's main shopping street, a councillor has claimed.

Dorchester town, district and county councillor Trevor Jones claimed the bollards prohibiting traffic from entering the lower end of South Street are 'sporadic in their operation' and questioned what would happen if a fatal accident occurred in the area.

Cllr Jones spoke out about the issue at a meeting of West Dorset District Council.

He was told by director for environment David Evans that plans to fully pedestrianise the lower end of South Street were being considered among the elements of the reduced Dorchester Transport and Environment Plan (DTEP) that were still being brought forward.

Cllr Jones responded: "In the meantime the bollards which are there to protect South Street during the prohibited hours are sporadic in their operation.

"I don't know who is going to stand up in court if a vehicles passes through their and there is a fatality during the prohibited hours because the bollards are down, it's a fiasco."

Cllr Jones said that the failure of one single council out of the town, district and county council to take responsibility did not bode well when there were plans for local authorities in Dorset to work closer together.

This includes plans for the tri council partnership involving West Dorset District Council, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and North Dorset District Council.

Cllr Jones said: "If we can't co-ordinate a few bollards to prevent vehicles from going through a pedestrian zone from which they are prohibited by law, what chance have we got?"

He added: "We can't carry on like this as vehicles are going through there because the bollards are not in place at specific times."

Mr Evans said that meetings were being held with the county council to make sure one body was responsible for the operation of the bollards seven days a week.

He said he would be happy to circulate the outcome of the meeting to all members as soon as the matter is resolved.

Mr Evans said: "I am aware of the concern and have asked for a meeting to be arranged with the relevant people from this council and the county council so they can come to a conclusion about the responsibility."

Cllr Robin Potter said it was vital that when an agreement is reached so members knew who they could contact if they saw that the bollards were still not being enforced properly.

He said: "Let us know so we know who is responsible so we know who to complain to."

Cllr Jones added that the agreement also needed to address the bollards at the top end of South Street at Cornhill.