Cart Road closed to drivers in bid to improve social distancing

cart road
The Cart Road has been closed to drivers to allow for social distancing, but four new disabled parking spaces have been created at Cobb Gate

THE Cart Road in Lyme Regis has been temporarily closed to drivers to allow space for social distancing. 

The new measures mean that disabled blue badge holders cannot currently park on the seafront, but four new disabled spaces have been opened in Cobb Gate car park in addition to the one that was already in place.

Dorset Council has introduced measures across the county to ensure high streets and busy areas can reopen safely and successfully following the easing of lockdown restrictions.

The council was given a £335,000 portion of the government’s £50million Reopening High Streets Safely Fund, used to introduce a range of safety measures in a move to kick-start local economies, get people back to work and customers back to the shops.

Cllr Gary Suttle, Dorset Council portfolio holder for Economic Growth and Skills, said: “Dorset Council has been working hard to implement various measures on the county’s high streets, designed to help shoppers stay safe.”

These measures have included:

  • Stencilled markings and signs around busy areas, including bus stops, helping people to observe social-distancing
  • Widening footways and cycleways by temporarily closing parking bays and cutting back vegetation
  • Scheduled partial road closures to provide more space for pedestrians, especially around food huts and vans
  • Creating additional cycle parking and new cycle routes
  • In the longer-term, pedestrianising busy areas with large numbers of cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars

This work is ongoing, so spend is not yet finalised, but rough estimates of how the funding has been spent are currently as follows:

  • £140k – highways work (as outlined above)
  • £50k – economic development work, in conjunction with town councils
  • £50k – communications and marketing (‘Stay Local, Shop Local’ campaign)
  • £100k – allocated for work related to the re-opening of the hospitality sector in early July

In Lyme Regis, as well as closing the Cart Road to drivers, the town council has been offered street dressing assets as part of a ‘Stay Local, Shop Local’ campaign launched by Dorset Council.

However, the decision to close the Cart Road to drivers has not proved universally popular.

One resident wrote to LymeOnline, commenting: “Are we seriously stopping 20 disabled drivers, their carers, their family members from enjoying the seafront free for a couple of hours and asking them to pay for the now only five total disabled spaces in the car park?

“This must be an error made by people who are not disabled or do not know how the disabled struggle. Suggestions it’s to allow social distancing on Marine Parade is flawed as you are now going to funnel people through the barriers closing off the access – ridiculous.

“If this is a new, quietly pushed through council policy it’s a case of discrimination and needs to be escalated.”


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Woodmead Halls
About Francesca Evans 2771 Articles
Francesca grew up in Lyme Regis and has worked in community journalism in the area since 2011, having gained a First Class Honours degree in journalism and her NCTJ qualifications at Southampton Solent University.

1 Comment

  1. It would be good if there was a one-way system around the fish bar area at the cob end of Lyme. I was there last week when it was really hot, and it was not possible to socially distance as there were queues at both fish bars (alomost on top of each other), people waiting for their orders on the other side of the road and people walking both ways. It might be better if each of the fish bars and ice-cream bars marked out a queueing area, facing in opposite directions for each fish bar, and then a one way system for walkers using the road round the back of this area. Food for thought.

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