WHILE there has been strong opposition to the revelation that Weymouth Harbour will temporarily be pedestrianised from this Saturday onwards, some businesses have shown support.

Read more: Protest as Weymouth Harbour to be pedestrianised

Those without outside seating areas will be able to welcome more customers under the scheme, because social distancing measures restrict the number of customers that can be seated inside their premises when they are allowed to reopen on July 4.

The pedestrianisation scheme would allow businesses to place tables on the street.

Michelle Ludlow, owner of Nanna Moon's café on the south harbourside said: "It's not that we want the pedestrianisation scheme - we need it.

"This scheme will help us to not go bankrupt. A lot of people are dead against it but I think it needs to be tried before deciding whether it will work or not."

Martin Wells, owner of the Library Harbour Café, said: "I'm very excited - it's been needed for a very long time. I've only been here just over a year but I think it's a great idea.

"The whole environment has been nicer (since lockdown) with less traffic and more people - we'll still have access - it's a compromise situation.

"A 2019 Government report shows that seaside towns are dying; I think this could go some way to alleviating that. It took 20 years to get the bypass built - I totally understand local concern but it's got to be worth a try. If you don't evolve you stagnate and die."

Barry Whettingsteel, who owns Hope Square's Secret Garden Café and Crow's Nest with partner Emma, said: "After seeing the press release from Dorset Council, Emma and myself are still very much pro-pedestrianisation.

"It will help us claw back the the seating we stand to lose with social distancing and government guidelines."

A Dorset Council spokesman said: "As of last week, 105 comments have been received on Weymouth harbourside, of which 95 indicated the desire to restrict vehicle access, either partly or fully, and ten were against such proposals. "This gives a snapshot of views from the wider population. Safety is at the heart of these temporary measures."

A spokesman for Weymouth Town Council said: “Weymouth Town Council has been supporting Dorset Council in looking at options to increase the safety of harbourside users whilst maintaining access for businesses and residents. "This is due to the lifting of government restrictions and the need to maintain social distancing in accordance with government guidelines.

"We hope that residents and visitors will stay alert to their surroundings and enjoy our town safely and responsibly.”