A new, draft blueprint which could transform Weymouth seafront over the next 10 years has been criticised for a lack of cycle lanes on the promenade.

A draft 10-year seafront strategy was presented to Weymouth Town Council's full council meeting on Wednesday, covering the three-kilometre area from the promenade walkway along the seafront near the Pavilion, along to Greenhill and Overcombe.

It comes after the plans passed through the town council's environment and services committee last month.

Cllr Luke Wakeling said he was "underwhelmed" by the strategy and its commitment to environmental issues after "two years of work".

He argued that residents wanted better the the ability ton cycle along the promenade.

He said: "There are certain things that our residents had strong preferences for that have dropped out altogether.

“There are two areas I feel we missed something.

“The second priority of residents, 44 per cent of residents wanted was better spaces for events and the environment. I would like to see us address the frequent use of petrol generators on the promenade, I don’t think that is something we need in the 21st century.

“The second thing is better routes for cyclists on the seafront, nearly four in ten residents supported that. The majority of local people don’t drive to the beach."

Cllr Wakeling tabled an amendment which included a plan to "work with partners" to develop year-round cycle routes along the promenade and to investigate one or more, permanent electrical power connections at the Jubilee Clock, sufficient to power small to medium-sized events without fossil fuel generators.”

Any plans for cycle lanes would be a decision for Dorset Council. 

The amendment was criticised by some councillors, citing that the seafront plan should focus on what the town council can deliver and not on matters that are overseen by Dorset Council.

As reported, a previous draft masterplan drawn up by a consultancy firm at the request of the town council, for which £25,000 was allocated, was scrapped in in 2023 because it was felt much of what was proposed in that plan was out of the town council's control unless the authority was able to get other partners on board.

The draft discussed on Wednesday is a fresh plan created by Weymouth Town Council officers.

Cllr Peter Dickenson said: "The question is the safety of walkers along the Esplanade, the safety of cyclists on any road is always dangerous.

"Cycle routes are nothing to do with the town council, it is Dorset Council.

"Only four in ten want this, what about the six in ten that don't."

Cllr Richard Nickinson said: "Painting a few coloured lines on the Esplanade is not going to give us the safety we need.

"I am concerned that the Esplanade is narrow in parts and I am concerned if we open the Esplanade up again to cyclists, there are many cyclists that are not quite as focused on safety as they ought to be.

"I know on the Rodwell Trail, they race up and down there with no bells on their bicycle, that is narrow as well."

Despite some objections, a vote to amend the plan to approach Dorset Council about cycling abilities on the promenade was agreed by councillors by a vote of 17 for and four against.

Councillors voted unanimously in favour of a reduction of fossil fuel generators.