Dorset Council agrees to suspend Swanage traffic experiment

Following 90 objections to the reversal of traffic flow of Kings Road East, Dorset Council has announced a date when everything will revert back to normal.

The decision is also in response to Swanage Town Council councillors, who at their recent council meeting agreed that the temporary road scheme wasn’t working and in fact branded the increased amount of traffic heading along the High Street and Church Hill as “dangerous”.


The experimental traffic plan has also meant that large lorries are forced to go along a narrow stretch of the High Street by the Legion or try to get round a tight bend in Church Hill. 

This scheme was first introduced when Institute Road was closed for highway improvements and it was the only way to provide a route through town for traffic to get to south Swanage.

Junction of the High Street and Kings Road East

The line markings at the junction of the High Street and Kings Road East, which will now be removed

Swanage Town Council asked for the reversal to remain as an experiment

With many Durlston residents keen to be able to take an alternative route to their homes, avoiding the busy Institute Road, Swanage Town Council asked for the reversal to remain in place as an experimental order, after Institute Road had reopened. Local residents were also asked to contribute to the Dorset Council consultation.

Now, Dorset Council says that the order will be suspended, with Kings Road East reverting to an out-of-town flow from Thursday 13th August 2020. The weight restriction on High Street will also be reinstated.

Junction of the High Street and Kings Road East

The temporary traffic lights at the junction of the High Street and Kings Road East will be removed and the pedestrian crossing reinstated

“Opportunity to put into practice a long sought-after additional route”

Councillor Ray Bryan, portfolio holder for highways, travel and environment, said: 

“We’re always happy to work with town and parish councils to investigate what can be done to help improve highway conditions in their area.

“Working with Swanage Town Council there was an opportunity to put into practice a long sought-after additional route into the town and gain feedback from residents.

“It’s clear from the representations made that this route does not work for local residents.”

Dorset Council highways team says that an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO) can only be modified or suspended, rather than revoked. So on paper the Kings Road East ETRO will continue to run for its full 18 months but the suspension overrides this, allowing the road to revert to its original flow earlier than anticipated.

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