PEDESTRIAN safety in Swanage town centre topped the agenda at a pair of recent drop-in sessions.

Dorset County Council (DCC) and Swanage Town Council (STC) teamed up to hold the two sessions at the town's Emmanuel Baptist Church.

They were organised to give residents the chance to view plans and speak to engineers about proposals to improve safety in the Institute Road area of the town.

County Hall Swanage representative, and former town mayor Cllr Bill Trite, explained: "There's a serious safety issue in Institute Road, through the concentration of both pedestrians and road vehicles in the same narrow street."

Pedestrians are often reported walking in the road, and vehicles are known to mount the pavements - especially in the packed summer months and while deliveries to shops are taking place.

Cllr Trite said: "Working with the town council, our engineers have come up with several proposals within the limited space available."

Ideas mooted at the drop-in sessions included widening some pavements; providing a new loading bay on Station Road; removing some, or all, loading/unloading on Institute Road; changing the parking bays.

Dorset Highways project manager Andrew Bradley said: "Over the two drop-in sessions around 100 residents came in to talk about the proposals for Institute Road.

"Most residents were positive about the idea, and felt that the current situation is dangerous and something needs to be done to improve the pedestrian environment.

"However, there is some concern over the loss of loading bays.

"We’ve received around 40 responses to the options so far, but residents can submit their views until the end of the month."

At the end of the month, the responses will be collated and discussed with the town council, to decide on a way forward.

Safety and environmental enhancement proposals for Institute Road in Swanage are going on display for residents to have their say.

Details of the proposals are available online at