On Thursday 1 November, members of West Dorset District Council’s strategy committee met to discuss a report relating to parking in West Bay. Members were asked to approve:
- The removal of free overnight parking in the Station Yard car park
- Consequential changes to the current hours of operation [to prevent parking between 10pm and 8am]
- Remove the restriction of a maximum stay of 3 hours in The Mound car park
- Introduce charges of £2 per hour for every hour after 3 hours in The Mound car par
Cllr John Russell, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Protection and Assets said: “I’m really pleased with the committee’s decision today. West Bay is an incredibly popular destination for visitors, but we have received complaints from local residents and businesses about the significant increase in the number of motorhomes parking overnight in this car park. Today we have addressed this issue by banning overnight parking. Patrols will be carried out to ensure that this ban is being enforced.”
Removing overnight parking for all vehicles
There is no standard definition of a motorhome or a campervan. This makes it difficult to prohibit only these types of vehicles as vehicles of all shapes and sizes can be adapted and converted to provide sleeping, camping and cooking facilities. Therefore, members have agreed to prohibit any vehicle from parking overnight. The definition of overnight is not specific enough to use as a restriction. Therefore, members have agreed thapt the parking restriction is set between the hours of 10pm and 8am.
The East Beach car park is open for cars and motorcycles only to use at night. Therefore the closure of the Station Yard car park will not prevent visitors to West Bay from being able to park late.
Supporting the Bridport Harbour Divers Air Station
Cllr Mary Penfold, Portfolio Holder for Enabling, said: “By removing the restriction at The Mound car park we are supporting the Bridport Harbour Divers Air Station. This facility allows visiting divers and diving clubs the opportunity to fill up quickly and easily. West Bay has access to dozens of wrecks. It also plays host to an abundance of varied marine life. By extending the times at this car park it allows divers the best location possible to park their vehicle for a half or full days diving.”