The West Bay Coastal defence scheme involves flood defence works within West Bay, that include repairs and strengthening to the existing groyne and construction of a new stub groyne on West Beach, beach recharge, strengthening the property wall on the northern side of the road running along the promenade. the construction of a buried rock core within East Beach, raising and strengthening the riverside bank within the Park Dean holiday camp. These works which are jointly being overseen by the Environment Agency and West Dorset District Council are anticipated to start in early 2019.
We are very supportive of the scheme, as it will reduce (but not eliminate) flood risks to West Bay. However, we want any disruptive impacts to residents of additional noise, vehicle movements, dust, etc. during the construction phase to be mitigated wherever possible. We understand that some work will cease during the peak holiday season. We have also asked for assurances, which we’ve received the Environment Agency and their contractors will have a single point of contact, whose details will be available on site notices, so that residents and businesses will know who to get in touch with if there are problems.
West Bay Days popular Bonfire on the Beach event takes place on Saturday 27th October starting from 5pm.
In response to traffic gridlock last year the organisers have “beefed up” the traffic management for this year’s event. There will be an extra shuttle bus running from Bridport, temporary car parking at Brit Valley Campground (weather permitting) and all cars leaving West Bay Road Car Park and Station Yard Car Park will exit onto Station Road and leave West Bay via Marsh Barn Road thus smoothing the traffic flow back up West Bay road.
In addition to the bonfire, fireworks, food and live music there will be the added attraction of fun fair rides this year. As well as providing enjoyment The Bonfire on the Beach is one of the events during the year organised by West Bay Days that raise money for a number of good causes.
While we have been pleased to see that the long awaited car park surface improvements are finally being delivered car parking continues to cause a lot of frustration to residents and visitors.
Easter saw the West Bay Road Car Park north end remain closed despite our requests to West Dorset District Council to open it up. In the event it was no surprise that we were proved right as fine weather led to cars driving around West Bay searching for non-existent car parking spaces, although residential roads in the Meadowlands Estate and elsewhere ended up chock-full of cars.
The timing of the resurfacing isn’t great and no effort has been made to warn motorists of the temporary lack of spaces or provide alternative provision. Meanwhile motor homes can enjoy overnight 24 hour car parking in the Station Yard Car Park for just £2, blocking spaces for other vehicles.
We recently met West Dorset District Council officials at West Bay to discuss this on site. It was good to have some recognition of the pressures West Bay faces and assurances that in future the West Bay Road Car Park will be fully open from Easter each year. There are stated intentions to change parking regulations in relation to parking in Station Yard Car Park subject to the support of councillors. There will inevitably still be a period of parking turmoil as the improvements to surfaces are completed but at least we have had the chance to engage face to face with council officials.