At its meeting on 28 March 2017, Bridport Town Council agreed that a consultation exercise be undertaken on town centre traffic, including seeking views on a trial closure of South Street and town centre speed limits, subject to the wording and format of the consultation being reviewed and agreed by the Planning Committee at its meeting on 24 April 2017.
The closure of South Street is an issue that is often raised with the Town Council and the Council included a proposal to consult on the options for South Street in its current Town Plan.
The County Council, as the Highway Authority, has to approve any highway or traffic changes. The options for the town centre and South Street in particular have been discussed with the County Council and the potential impacts identified but it is recognised that there is no real evidence assessing the impact of a closure of South Street on the town centre, including traffic movements in and around the town.
The Town Council feels that to accurately assess the impact of the closure of South Street, a temporary trial closure for up to 3 months should be considered. However, before a decision is taken on whether to apply to the County Council for a trial closure, it was agreed that a consultation should be undertaken to seek views on the proposal. The results would enable the Town Council to assess the strength of feeling and support, before any further work is undertaken. It is hoped that the consultation will run from May through to the end of June.
Consultation would be by questionnaire which would be online, available in the Tourist Information Centre, Library and Mountfield, with wide advertising. There would be separate consultation with local organisations, including the emergency services, Chamber of Trade, bus operators, taxis, Tourism Association and other local organisations through BLAP. There would also be further discussion with Highways England (regarding the impact on the A35) and Dorset County Council.
|Consultation||Town Council||May – June 2017|
|Consider responses and way forward||Town and County Council||July – Aug 2017|
|If support for trial closure:|
|Draft Proposals||Town and County Council||Sept – Oct 2017|
|Order Marking Process, including statutory consultation||County Council||Oct – Jan 2017/18|
|Experimental Trial Closure*||Town and County Council||Mar-May2018 (12wks)|
(*Any closure of South Street would be from the junction of Gundry Lane to the Town Hall junction. There would be access for deliveries, emergency vehicles and vehicles used by people with disabilities).