A KEY gateway to Weymouth described as 'unattractive, unsafe and dull' is set to be transformed in a project worth almost £600k after people had their say on what should happen to it.

The railway station forecourt in King Street will be turned into a welcoming, colourful and attractive pedestrian-friendly space which may include some public art and more trees and flowers.

Action is to be taken following public feedback which also called for traffic flows to be improved, better transport links and travel information.

During the summer, Dorset Coast Forum – which is co-ordinating the Weymouth Station Gateway Project – asked residents and businesses to take part in an online survey ahead of the design process.

A consultation report based on the findings found that people didn't like the area because of anti-social behaviour and also that it was 'unattractive' 'unsafe', 'dirty' and 'dull'. When asked what they liked about the station forecourt an overwhelming amount of respondents said 'nothing'. Most people said it was in a 'poor' or 'terrible' state.

One respondent said the town 'needed to promote its family friendliness' to discourage public drinking and other unruly behaviour while another called for a 'fit for purpose travel interchange'.

When asked what would make a positive experience at the station the most popular choices were that it was clean, have trees and flowers, good signage and tourist information and that it was welcoming and had toilets.

The use of public art, heritage and culture to represent the town was another clear outcome from the responses.

Business owners said they felt the area was 'very dated'. There was also a feeling the area is poorly laid out as it was primarily designed for cars. Businesses want an up to-date welcoming atmosphere with green spaces and colour plus a clean and tidy, open and modern space with clear information.

Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: “While some of the information in the report is not surprising, it’s important that we now have a clear steer on how the Weymouth community want the station to look and what the key aspects are that should be addressed within the project.”

The forum is now in the design phase of the project and is working with key stakeholders and partners to incorporate the consultation feedback into the design. It says information and updates will be shared as the project moves forward.

The total project fund is £596,000 which includes a £450k grant from the South Western Railway Customer and Communities Improvement Fund and additional funding from partners Dorset Council, Public Health Dorset, Weymouth BID and Weymouth Town Council.

For more details and to view the consultation report visit www.dorsetcoasthaveyoursay.co.uk/weymouth-gateway