May I congratulate the Weymouth harbourside businesses that appear to have risen to the occasion of the temporary part-pedestrianisation scheme. While I appreciate that the Government-led initiative wasn’t welcomed by all, my family - along with so many others - are thoroughly enjoying the outdoors experience normally associated with sunshine holidays abroad.

While the part-pedestrianisation is only two weeks’ old, we have enjoyed the cafés, take-aways and caterers who have shown great innovations with their businesses. It all began with take-away coffees, cakes, fish-and-chips and the like - having now developed into fairly substantial food and drink facilities.

Over the period we have taken advantage of snacks and meals such as Sunday lunches (take-away and deliveries) click-and-collect fish-and-chips, breakfasts, lunches, evening meals, pizzas, sandwiches, cakes - and all from locally-owned, small businesses who needed to get up and running for their future existence.

The Government recognised the need to offer help and, for example, both sides of Weymouth harbour were recommended by the council for a relaxation of the regulations covering al fresco eating and drinking.

We do, of course, need to take control of any anti-social drinking (as reported in Thursday’s Echo). Having actively and regularly supported businesses on both sides of the harbour, we have also made new acquaintances as well as maintaining and enjoying relationships with existing friends.

We are, of course, saddened for people who have been adversely affected by this dreadful pandemic in one way or another. I’d be foolish to suggest that the scheme is perfect, because it isn’t; but it’s a start. Business owners had to set up shop ever so quickly and, in the circumstances, they have come up trumps! I’m sure that as the weeks go by they will be looking at ways to be even better.

We are now experiencing the high-season for summer holidays and the town-centre shopping streets are buzzing with visitors as well as us locals. We are most fortunate to have a higher-than-average number of shops still trading, and for this we should take encouragement. Visitors I have spoken with seem more than impressed with the harbourside experience.

David Johnston