THE cost of Weymouth’s traffic nightmare is being counted by the town’s accommodation providers.

Hoteliers and B&B owners blamed the transport package works for being up to 10 per cent down on trade as visitors boycotted the resort this season.

Dave Price, chairman of the Weymouth and Hotel Guest House and Leaseholders Association said trade was affected by the transport package.

The owner of the Molyneux Guest House said: “The roadworks hit the trade in general. It put of a lot of people last year and I don’t think many came back this year.”

He added: “The last year was the worst in our trade since 2006 and this year was about the same as last year so the last two years have been hard and that is reflected through our membership.

Tony Sawyer, owner of the Windsor Hotel, said at the moment he was probably five to 10 per cent down on last year’s trade.

He said: “It’s certainly the worse for probably five years. There’s several things for that, one of which is the traffic situation in Weymouth.

“For the last 15 months so many people have said they will not bother coming back to Weymouth because the road situation is so bad.”

He added: “Around the nation they are saying tourist numbers are up but I don’t believe it in Weymouth.”

Geoff Barrett, owner of the The Langham Hotel said it was one on the slowest years he had witnessed in eight years.

He said: “There’s been a down turn for two years and there’s so many factors for that including the roadworks.”

Linda Mann, owner of the Redcliff Hotel said “July was better but August was down. It is looking like all of August is a wash out.”

Hopes pinned on Olympic boost

The 2012 Olympic games could give Weymouth’s businesses a much needed boost.

The economic benefits from the games should reverberate through the borough for years afterwards business leader Andy Cooke said.

It follows a poor 2011 summer season for traders and accommodation providers.

Mr Cooke, left, the president of Weymouth and Portland Chamber of Commerce said: “For Weymouth as a town the one thing we have got is next year to look forward to and the boost from the 2012 games and ongoing boost through other years.”

Councillor Andy Blackwood, briefholder for tourism, culture and community facilities said: “We are hopefully gearing up for an exciting year next year with the Olympics and everything that goes with it.”

Geoff Barrett, owner of the The Langham Hotel, said: “The Olympics, I hope, will be a success and will put Weymouth on the map.”

Council defends package

Dorset County Council has defended the Weymouth tourism and transport package as having potentially immense benefits for the town.

The authority was charged with completing the multi-million pound scheme to improve the transport network throughout the borough.

Peter Finney,DCC cabinet member for transport, said: “While we always knew there would be some short-term inconvenience, the long-term benefits are potentially immense. This isn't just about catering for visitors during two weeks in 2012, but making Weymouth and Portland a better place to live, work in and visit for years to come.

“This has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a transport infrastructure for the 21st century, which will improve conditions for residents and visitors alike.”

He added: “More than £100 million is being spent on the transport and road network in Weymouth and Portland in advance of 2012 – a huge investment in junction improvements, cycleways, public transport and road maintenance.”