ROADWORKS have begun on a project to improve road safety outside a busy Weymouth convenience store.

Dorset Council is making changes to make life easier for pedestrians outside the Londis store and post office on Abbotsbury Road.

Earlier this year, the Echo reported how residents were facing a ‘parking nightmare’, in which pedestrians - particularly those with buggies and small children - struggled to get past parked cars outside the shop.

A spokesman for Dorset Council said: "Currently we are concentrating on the new footway at the back of the parking area in front of the shop and improved footway at the junction of Old Parish Lane.

"This will provide a safe walking route to the shop and reduce conflict between vehicles and pedestrians. This work is expected to be complete, except for the final surface, by Friday of this week [November 15]."

Construction at the site began on Monday November 4. After the pathway work has finished, work will then begin to upgrade the pedestrian crossing in front of the Londis shop from a Pelican to a Puffin crossing. This means they will have sensors to make sure pedestrians are safely across the road before cars are allowed to go.

A Dorset Council spokesman said the work will mean the existing crossing will be switched off from Monday November 18 until the upgrade is complete.

"To ensure pedestrians can still safely cross Abbotsbury Road during the construction period, a temporary signal-controlled crossing will be installed next to the site and in front of the shops," the spokesman added.

"The construction of the crossing is scheduled to be complete by Friday December 13 with installation and commissioning of the new crossing by our signals contractor in the week beginning December 16."

More work is expected to take place in January, when parking restrictions will be put in place so that spaces outside the Londis store and next-door chemist will become customer-only parking.

There will be a six month trial period, during which time residents can comment on whether they want the parking changes to be made permanent. The official term for this is 'experimental traffic regulation order' (TRO).

The Dorset Council spokesman said: "The experimental TRO for the parking area and the junction with Southview Road is being progressed with a hoped-for start date in early January after the [pedestrian crossing] works have been completed."