Dorset

Dorchester traffic scheme development cost council £800k

High East Street
Image caption The scheme had been due to include a one-way system on High West Street and High East Street (pictured)

More than £800,000 has been spent trying to develop plans for a £5m traffic scheme in Dorchester, it has been revealed.

The scheme, which was first mooted in 2003, is designed to reduce congestion and improve air quality in the town.

However, original and revised plans have already been rejected after proving unpopular with local residents.

A BBC Freedom of Information request to the county council revealed the authority has spent £862,000.

The cash has been spent on elements including design, consultation and investigating a park and ride scheme, the council said.

The original Dorchester Transport and Environment Plan (DTEP) scheme included implementing various road closures and one way streets in the town, but was put on hold due to funding issues until 2013.

Plans were then altered and included a one-way system on High West Street and High East Street and restricted turns at Great Western Junction, but these were rejected by local residents in October 2013.

Concerns included traffic being transferred onto residential streets.

On 3 September, a revised scheme was rejected by the county council's cabinet after it again proved unpopular with local residents.

A scaled back version of the revised plan is now being investigated and includes pedestrianising the southern end of South Street, and upgrading traffic lights at the junction of High Street with Trinity Street.

County councillor Trevor Jones said the latest plans had shown to have "broad approval" amongst residents.

He added the council was now "intent on pushing it through, implementing it and helping to alleviate some of the traffic problems in the town".

Image copyright Jo Turner
Image caption Scaled back plans, currently being investigated, include pedestrianising the southern end of South Street

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