Statutory consultation is underway as part of the legal process to permanently remove parking bays and introduce a cycle lane along Weymouth’s Custom House Quay.
Notices for the Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO) will be advertised this week, as Dorset Council looks to create a better mixed-use environment and a safer space for walking and cycling along the harbourside.
The Custom House Quay public realm scheme will also enhance the area for outside dining and improve air quality by reducing traffic along the route, while keeping access to the working harbour.
The TRO proposes:
- Creation of a restricted parking zone between St Mary Street and a point to the east of South Parade
- Installing an on-road cycle lane between St Mary Street and The Esplanade, with an easterly flow
- Introducing four new loading bays on Custom House Quay and one in Maiden Street, plus retaining the large loading bay by fish loading platform
- Installing a disabled bay (two spaces) near fish loading platform
- Removal of eleven parking spaces on Custom House Quay to the west of Pilgrims Way
- Removal of one parking space on the corner of Custom House Quay junction with the Esplanade
Comments from the TRO consultation will go to Dorset Council Western and Southern Area Planning Committee on 9 September and to Cabinet on 5 October, as part of the traffic order approval process.
Cllr Ray Bryan, Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: “The removal of the disused railway lines has given us an opportunity to reconsider how Custom House Quay can be enjoyed.
“Although it remains a working harbour, the area maintains tremendous leisure value with residents and is an attraction for visitors for walking and dining.”
Earlier this year, over 1,400 people responded during a six-week public engagement, with 58.2 per cent supportive of the whole scheme and 21.5 per cent not supporting the entire scheme as outlined.
The responses showed a majority support for installing planters, seating and bollards, providing loading bays for businesses and harbour vessels, widening the footways, providing additional outdoor seating space for hospitality businesses and providing cycle parking in the area.
The proposals for a on road cycle lane split opinion, with 40 per cent in support, 50.3 per cent against and 9.7 per cent unsure of the proposal.
Cllr Bryan added: “We’ve carefully reviewed the comments received about the proposed cycle lane, which were primarily concerns about safety, and we’ve addressed many of these within the design.
“Road markings and signs along Custom House Quay and at each side road would highlight the presence of bikes to other road-users. A difference of paving at each junction will also alert drivers.
“Two-way cycling on roads that are otherwise one-way for vehicles are now widely used across the country – there are over 2,000 in London alone – and government guidelines carefully outline how and when they should be considered.
“The cycle lane on Custom House Quay would provide a valuable alternative means of travel through the town centre – helping keep residents active and reducing dependence on cars for some short journeys.
“It’s not suitable for bicycles to share the footway with pedestrians in this area. Bicycles heading into town are able to travel with the flow of vehicles in the road, but 1.5m-wide cycle lane would support people on bikes travelling towards the peninsula.
“The proposed cycle lane would also link to a route planned around the peninsula, which would connect with the permitted cycling on the esplanade – creating an attractive leisure network for families and visitors.”
Dorset Police, Weymouth Town Council and local Dorset Councillors have been consulted as part of the legal TRO process, with support given to the scheme.