SIGNAGE will be erected on the outskirts of Lyme Regis this summer, directing drivers to the park and ride to avoid unnecessary traffic coming through the town centre.
Lyme Regis Town Council hopes to alleviate traffic congestion issues with a new signage system that will take drivers around the town to the Charmouth Road park and ride.
The council has worked with the AA on a trail of temporary signs to be erected when the park and ride is open during the peak season.
This will include a sign at Boshill Cross in Devon, directing traffic off the A3052 and instead encouraging them to take the A358 through Musbury.
A second sign will be placed at the Abbey Gate junction of the A358, just outside Axminster, to direct traffic onto the A35, then down to Charmouth roundabout and into Lyme Regis.
The town council felt this was the “most convenient, safest and fastest route” to the park and ride, avoiding unnecessary traffic coming into Lyme Regis via Sidmouth Road or through Uplyme via Hunters Lodge.
The scheme hit a stumbling block when Devon County Council initially objected to all the signs within its remit, including those at the Boshill Cross and Abbey Gate junctions.
Deputy town clerk Mark Green said Devon County Council’s reason for initially objecting was that people would already find their way to Lyme Regis via the A3052 Sidmouth Road and could presumably then find the park and ride.
“That’s probably true but it doesn’t address the problem of reducing unnecessary vehicle movements through the centre of town,” he added.
Town councillors said the response from Devon County Council “completely missed the point”.
However, the mayor has now reported that following discussions between Dorset Council and Devon County Council highways officers, this issue has been resolved and the signs have now been approved.
As a main A-road, permission for signs on the A35 has to come from Highways England, rather than local councils.
Highways England has approved signs directing traffic straight on at the Hunters Lodge and ‘Corkscrew’ junctions on the A35, but not the sign for the turn-off into Lyme Regis at Charmouth roundabout, which has sparked some concerns that drivers may accidentally continue towards Bridport.
“Again, this seems equally daft and nonsensical,” said Mr Green.
It is hoped this final issue can be resolved with further discussions to complete the full signage trail.