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Work to bring sweeping improvements to a prime location on Weymouth Esplanade is set to start next month.

The changes come after Weymouth & Portland Borough Council’s planning and traffic committee approved a proposed Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) (17/09).

The order will see wholesale changes to the congested parking area outside the pier bandstand, improving safety for pedestrians and drivers while enhancing the street-scene and seafront.

Improvements include a single row of spaces, traffic island with planting plus clearer signage, marking and layout, together with a safety break between cars and the bus lane.

The council held meetings with hoteliers, residents, councillors and other stakeholders over a 12 month period before drafting the TRO, which included a statutory consultation which was publicised via media adverts and site notices.

Borough council transport and infrastructure brief holder Christine James said:

“These improvements will completely transform this area so that it becomes an attractive part of our seafront.

“At the moment this area is really congested and cluttered, and this work will improve safety and access massively for both drivers and pedestrians.

“This is about bringing this end of the Esplanade in line with the other end to stop people hogging spaces all day long so there’s a greater turnover of people able to visit and park.

“This is part of the council’s parking review which has already seen parking charges slashed and free overnight parking introduced in many borough council run car parks.”

Income from running parking must be used for specific transport related purposes and cannot be used to subsidise the council tax or other purposes.

Year-round pay and display parking will be introduced to bring this end of the Esplanade in line with arrangements along the rest of seafront, introduced in 2003.

It will also apply to spaces on the opposite side of the Esplanade between the Prince Regent Hotel and Lennox Street.

There will be free unlimited parking for blue badge holders, while the council committee also agreed to reduce proposed overnight charges to £1 to take into account the location of the area.

The council runs on-street car parking in the borough under contract from Dorset County Council and the £46,000 works costs of this project will be split between the two councils.

This order does not include any changes to parking arrangements in Brunswick Terrace.