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Harbour plan comments from Chamber Executive

Recently we have been advised that a Major Change is being proposed to an integral part of Weymouth. We advised we would comment and this will go into the Survey below as official.
We would also at this time re-request anyone to give your views to the survey at this point as it is under consultation process now.
All members who sit on our executive board were contacted asking their views to these changes from a business perspective. We support all businesses in Weymouth & Portland whether they are a standalone fishermen or someone who owns a large restaurant.
The board members were asked to think objectively on that basis and not for their personal views.
The first thing that they asked back was were the businesses in and around the harbour who this change effects asked to put any input into the new layout being proposed?
Having consulted a large amount of Harbour users none were asked pre-design if it would affect their business in either a positive or negative way.
We would expect that if such a major change was to happen then to prevent clashes if nothing else speaking to those who operate around and use the harbour would be the best course of action as they have the most experience.
We feel that before projects are pushed into the local press and a consultation begins to the general public, specific research into the impact a major change might have into local businesses good or bad should be implemented.
The following was noted with this particular design.
– Almost every member could not see the need for a specific cycle lane and felt there simply wasn’t enough space along the harbour and would cause a hazard if anything. It is important to note that Cycling should of course continue to be permitted on the highway but agreement was as is stated in the proposal that the traffic be slowed to at least 20mph
– It is yet to be seen if the removal of the car parking spaces and the narrowing of the road will work for everybody. We can obviously see it will hinder some fisherman with loading etc and it could be greatly beneficial to the pubs and restaurants to have extra space for the locals and tourists that eat and drink there.
– We are keen that if this does go ahead, and looking at the design the survey below we do feel that everything looks a little tight, that the vehicular access remains as is shown. So a compromise for pubs etc rather than full pedestrianisation
– Lastly we would say that if any benefit is given to the harbour and increasing the business there it needs to be balanced out by looking at options to help the centre of town and the businesses who operate there.
We will continue to see how this develops and would hope that a progressive but welcome to the majority result can be sought.
Paul Appleby
Author: Paul Appleby