THE controversial pedestrianisation scheme around Weymouth harbour came to an end on Saturday – but the quayside was still filled with people enjoying the autumn sun.

Traffic was able to return to the harbourside after 12 weeks of restrictions on Custom House Quay, and Cove Street to Hope Square and Trinity Road.

Some parking spaces are still being used for tables and chairs as it continues to be a gathering point, but people are reminded they now have to be aware of traffic around the harbour.

Some businesses along the harbour have called for the scheme to be an annual initiative, with Sharon Day, general manager of the Kings Arms, branding it ‘amazing’, stating it had given them ‘a massive boost coming out of lockdown’. Sean Cooper, owner of Weyfish, also gave his support saying it ‘should become the norm’.

A member of staff at The Ship Inn said it was still quite busy at the harbourside.

They said: “It has been good for us because we could get more tables outside.

“It did really help us because we managed to get a lot more custom out of the front, especially in the sun, it has been nice.”

However, the scheme was not welcomed by everyone.

Cove Street resident Susan-Jane Smith said continuing the scheme next year would be 'hell’ and claimed it has caused the south side of the harbour to 'lose its charm’.

She has a blue badge and parks on the harbourside with the residents' parking permit registered to her husband’s car.

“Walking is a challenge and I can’t carry a lot and I walk with a stick and all of a sudden, my world had changed,” she said. “It became an unhappy place to me.”

“I completely understand local businesses need help, I am a great supporter of that, I really can understand everybody needs a bit of help, but south harbourside to me is a place for boat trips, crabbing and fishing. It brought in drinkers, there was no social distancing, people were hostile - it has lost its charm.”

Mrs Smith was able to drive to her home to unload but, at the age of 69, was unable to move the barriers and sandbags blocking the road.

She added: “When my husband managed to do it, he was called inappropriate names and people were shouting. One man came up and put his finger in his face.

“It has been a huge worry, I get huge anxiety every time we drive here. It has made it very miserable.

“I have read there is a thought now to do it every summer for the businesses, it would be hell, it would be so miserable, I really don’t know what I would do.

“I have spoken to one or two in the area and they feel the same. I know several businesses have said it has not been that brilliant for them. The pubs have done well.”

It hasn’t been a completely positive initiative for Dave at Kingfisher Marine on Custom House Quay.

He said: “It’s difficult to say from the shop point of view, but our workshop has suffered severely because if we come back to the shop to get some parts or tools, it then takes about two hours to get back to the marina.”


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