Dec 2020 – Weymouth, Dorset

As part of work to resurface Commercial Road following the removal of the Weymouth Harbour Branch tracks, two cycle lanes have been introduced to facilitate cycling where traffic volume and speeds are relatively low between Westham Bridge and Lower St Alban Street. One of the Council’s main arguments for removing the tracks was to make the roads safer for cyclists. Councillor Ray Bryan, Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: ‘This road layout gives priority to cyclists – with vehicles slowing down to pass each other safely or overrunning into the cycle lane if safe to do so. Further proposed cycle links in the town centre, which will require legal orders to introduce, will be consulted on early next year.’

Update – January 2021. Another set of railway tracks has been unearthed on Commercial Road during the above work. A spokesman from the council said: ‘We believe this is the old route of the Weymouth branch line, which ‘The Loop’ section replaced.’ Perhaps RR members could give their views on this. According to the Dorset Echo, the project team are working with conservation officers to develop ideas of how best to preserve historic elements of the Quay tramway. Where possible, sections of track are being left in situ, including a 30-metre section at the start of the line in Commercial Road and ‘The Loop’ near Cosens Quay Car Park. The council spokesman also said that ‘some sections of rail may be used for a possible heritage feature along the route once the works are complete’. (Tim Chant, Dorset Council, Dorset Echo)