Dorset Council is set to go ahead with plans to consult the public over plans to put double yellow lines on a stretch of Wyke Road after councillors in Gillingham backed the move.
The proposed traffic regulation order or TRO would involve a short section of double yellow lines being placed between the level crossing and Melrose House on Wyke Road in order to improve visibility for motorists heading west out of the town (see map below).
Councillor Val Pothecary, who proposed the move to allow Dorset Council to consult on the plan, said Gillingham Town Council had first requested this TRO around ‘five or six years ago’ and that she had been ‘nagging’ the Dorset authority to implement it since.
‘I’m really delighted that they are now asking for our consent to advertise and consult on this,’ she told councillors at an online meeting of the town’s full council on Monday. ‘Anyone of you who has driven westwards out of Gillingham will know what a dreadful bend this is.’
Councillor Mike Gould said he was also pleased that action was finally being taken on what he said was an ‘incredibly dangerous piece of road’.
However, Councillor Graham Poulter said the current situation, with the parked cars on that section of road, helps keep speeds down. ‘Everyone who goes along that stretch of road has to slow down and proceed with the greatest of caution. If the parking is removed then … that would encourage people to speed up,’ he said.
And Councillor Poulter noted that the initial request by the town council for the TRO dated from before he and a number of other councillors had joined the council. ‘I think it would be right to bring it back to the council to see whether they approve or not,’ he said, arguing that it should be this council and not a past one that had the final say on the issue.
However, deputy mayor Councillor Paul Harris said that it was important to get the consultation under way. ‘The results of the consultation will then be able to guide us on what to do next. We will be doing the residents of Gillingham a disservice if we put a hold on it at this moment.’
And Councillor Mick Hill said that as a result of the consultation the ‘public will then decide, rather than just us’.
Mayor Barry Von Clemens noted that if the process on the TRO was stopped now it could be another five years before it came back for consultation again.
Councillors voted overwhelmingly to back the consultation process by Dorset Council, with two councillors abstaining.
The town council also backed a similar consultation process over proposed parking restrictions on the bend outside the Co-op supermarket on Bay Road.