The furore over the part-pedestrianisation of Weymouth harbourside continued as the 12-week scheme came into force on Saturday.

The gloomy weather was probably to blame for the fact the quay was not overly crowded, and businesses say the test will come when there is a much warmer weekend.

While there were many people walking around, few were choosing to sit down at the quay.

Dorset Council said it was implementing the scheme to help with social distancing but some residents and businesses said they have felt left in the dark by the plans and were not consulted.

On Saturday the roads were closed to cars, except those that needed access to homes or businesses.

Workers from Amberon, a traffic management company contracted by Dorset Council, were deployed to stand at the end of the road and move cones back and forth when cars needed access.

Billy Gillmon was stood on the south side of the harbour doing exactly that on Saturday.

He said: "There are six staff stood letting cars in and out of the closed road. No one has a pass saying that they should be allowed access so we are taking it at face value when someone asks to use the road. It's been very busy and we are letting roughly 40 cars in or out each hour."

Reactions to the pedestrianisation have been mixed.

Steve Oakley, owner of The Ivy Coffee House on Cove Row, said: "The pedestrianisation feels a bit premature to me. It has disrupted all of the residents and there's not even any point to it as no one is here.

"What frustrates me is that human nature dictates that some people will take the social distancing measures really seriously and others won't and when those two groups of people are together there might be arguments. I am waiting to see if that happens or not. I am also worried about increased outdoor seating and more customers because I don't have the staff to cater for it.

"This relaxation should never have happened on a Saturday but we have to get back to normal somehow."

Rod Compton, a boat owner in Weymouth Harbour is appalled at the pedestrianisation.

He said: "It is ridiculous. It encourages people to come out and stand six abreast on the road which means that we can't get up the ladder to get onto the harbourside. This whole thing is an excuse for pubs to have an extension of where they can serve people.

"As fishermen, we were told we were going to be consulted on when plans for the pedestrianisation were first brought up but we haven't been spoken to at all. This is a commercial port not a commercial brewery.

"In the past fishermen have come down in the morning to go to work and their boats have been damaged by drunk people which has led to fishermen being unable to do their jobs and losing a day's work."

He added: "It's so lovely when families come down to the harbour and kids go crabbing and have fun but now when it is sunny it will just be yobs down here. This whole thing is a recipe for disaster. Democracy died when the pedestrianisation was put in place."

Alan Hale, who works in Weymouth Harbour Office, said: "I think it's a really good thing. It keeps traffic down and allows people to relax and enjoy themselves on the harbour.

"The fishermen can still unload further up the harbour where there isn't the pedestrianisation so I don't see the problem with that. From what I have seen people seem to be enjoying themselves and don't seem at all fazed by the new rules."