Some of the traffic restrictions, introduced at the beginning of July, will be eased following three weeks of monitoring.
Restrictions had prevented traffic passing through the harbour area between 10.30am and 9pm but having observed levels for several weeks, the impact on businesses and the needs of other harbour users, councillors have agreed to reduce those restrictions to between 10.30am and 6pm.
By changing the sitting out spaces around the harbour it is hoped Weymouth’s night-time economy will be spread across a wider area rather than create a specific focus for refreshments in this one particular part of the town.
While the road will be open to traffic from 6pm each evening, parking spaces that are already closed off along the harbourside will be used by the businesses to continue to provide outdoor seating for customers.
Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council portfolio holder for Highways, Travel and the Environment, said, “We have been working with our partners at Weymouth Town Council and Dorset Police for several weeks now to agree the measures at the harbour and this will continue throughout the summer.
“We jointly agreed to put these restrictions in place at the beginning of July to help hospitality businesses reopen safely while adhering to the rules on social distancing. That element has been successful, and all agencies are pleased to have seen a café culture type atmosphere develop on the harbourside during the day.
“We said at the start that we might alter plans to suit the needs of the town. The need to encourage residents and visitors to other parts of the town is a priority. We will keep monitoring and may decide to alter plans again if the need arises, but we will only do that with support of partners.
“The council really is in a difficult position; we have to follow Government guidelines, and these measures were put in as a result of that advice as lockdown eased. We are trying to support all local businesses, while ensuring the safety of everyone who uses the harbour.”
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