Bridport residents will not have a say on Bentley Street

BEACH ROAD: Bentley Street lies next to the popular Bridport beach. Picture: Paul Scambler.
BEACH ROAD: Bentley Street lies next to the popular Bridport beach. Picture: Paul Scambler.

A motion to conduct a local survey about the future of Bentley Street, Bridport, was not supported at last week’s Dorset Council meeting.

The survey would have asked if Bridport residents wanted to turn the seaside street into a one-way-street, however the motion was voted down with only councillor, forwarder of the motion Councillor Steve Arnold, voting in favour.

The calls for a one-way street coincide with the current $2 million plan to redevelop Bentley Street to make transport easier for visitors.

Cr Arnold said that people in the community deserved to have a say in the direction of the street development.

“I’ve had quite a few [people] speak to me in favour of making it one-way,” he said.

“I wanted to take it to the public to see what their views were, if it was [they wanted] one-way I’d be happy, and if it was [they wanted] two-way I’d be just as happy in that.

“I feel that it’s the right thing to do to go to the public first, so we know how the public feel and what they want.”

Cr Howard said that changing Bentley Street’s redevelopment plans to make it a one-way street would cause more trouble than it is worth.

“It had the potential to start an internal dispute in Bridport in two different streets,” he said.

“If we had have turned it into a one-way-street, or even if you go ahead and do a poll of residents, some people in Bentley Street may like it because it will reduce the amount of traffic.

“But people in Westwood Street, and all the adjoining streets, wouldn’t want it because all of a sudden it increases the amount of traffic in their streets.”

Cr Howard also said that making Bentley Street one-way would cause the overall cost of the Bentley Street development to balloon to unmanageable levels.

“If you make it one way, then at least four or five streets that join Bentley Street are not of sufficient quality [because of the extra traffic] and they’d need to be upgraded as well.

“We’ve allocated $2 million to fix Bentley Street to give it adequate parking and storm water. To make it a one-way-street you’d have to pay another $1 million to fix those connector streets between there and the next street up.