A LYME Regis resident has repeated requests for more to be done about traffic congestion in the town, saying that “nobody is interested in solving the problem”.
The comments were made by Lyme resident and former town councillor Ken Gollop at the annual town meeting last week, attended by just over 30 people.
Mr Gollop asked council representatives whether there would ever be a public consultation on traffic problems in Lyme Regis.
“This is a repeat of what I said last year, probably what I said for the past three or four years. Nobody seems to be interested in solving our traffic problems in Lyme,” he commented.
Mr Gollop said he had previously suggested to Dorset County Council that they install large signs on the approach to the town, similar to those seen in Cornwall, warning drivers of heavy good vehicles about sharp bends, narrow lanes and steep hills ahead.
He added: “If we had a couple of those up Charmouth Road you might educate these people that come straight through. They don’t take any notice at all of traffic regulations, they go straight round the corner at the London Inn and 20 yards down they meet a bus coming up, and they’re amazed to find this.
“It’s so simple, we could do a lot to alleviate the traffic problems in Lyme. You could ban the hearse from staying outside the church for 40 minutes, you could ask the dustcart not to come down Broad Street at 11.30am, he could do it at 7am… even getting a stop-line above Hill Road on Silver Street. Little things like that would solve a lot.
“There’s so much that could be done but no one seems to be interested whatsoever.”
Mr Gollop did recognise that district and county councillor Daryl Turner had followed up his request for signage and two had recently been installed on Charmouth Road, although he had been hoping for larger signs.
The Mayor of Lyme Regis, Councillor Michaela Ellis, said that the town council had agreed to have a traffic survey carried out this year, and “hopefully we will get some answers from that”.
Councillor Stan Williams reported on a positive meeting with two highways officers from Dorset County Council, but expressed disappointment that more action had not been taken since.
“I have met people before who have said ‘we’re never going to Lyme Regis again’ because of the traffic. Devon won’t even talk to us, Dorset is almost as bad and I was very disappointed that they’re not doing anymore,” he said.
Councillor Jeff Scowen argued that action was being taken.
He commented: “The town council is spending £25,000 on a traffic survey, a very comprehensive survey, and we are progressing with the signs.
“I don’t want people to think we’re complacent and not doing anything because we are. We’re aware of the traffic problems in Lyme, but we’re also aware there’s no silver bullet otherwise it would have been done.
“Dorset is looking at these problems, they are helping us and I think we will start seeing results very soon. The survey will look at the park and ride and everything, it will be very comprehensive.”
At a council meeting just two days earlier, Councillor Scowen has said that they were “on the case” with traffic problems in Lyme Regis.
The council has also reported that it is currently waiting for a response from Highways England about the possible installation of further signs on the main roads into Lyme Regis.
Mr Gollop asked if those carrying out the survey would ask local residents what they thought of the traffic problems, adding: “They’ll come here for three or four days, stand at different points, look at the situation and go off again. We’ve all been driving around Lyme for years, we know what the problems are. They need to get hold of the local people and ask.”
Town clerk John Wright confirmed that the survey would include public consultation.