The Weymouth Transport Package for the 2012 Games is a series of long-term public transport improvements that will provide a transport legacy for Weymouth and Portland after the Games.
County council engineers have put together the transport package to improve public transport and to encourage more people to leave their cars at home and reduce congestion.
The package aims to: ease the impact of congestion, particularly for buses, along King Street and Boot Hill; improve the quality of public transport by using newer buses and improving bus stops; modernise the bus network by introducing real time passenger information (RTPI) on buses and at bus stops; make it easier for people to use the bus and train by developing an interchange at the railway station and improve air quality and pedestrian safety.
The Dorset County Council scheme was given funding approval by the Department for Transport in March 2010, and work started on the town centre junction improvements on 7th June 2010. Construction of the scheme has finished with the last junction being switched on during Tuesday 26th July 2011. Monitoring of the scheme will continue to ensure the system is working as efficiently as possible.
As part of the scheme, improvements took place at King St. and Boot Hill junctions, with the aim being to improve the flow of traffic through Weymouth by making junctions more efficient. The improvements included active traffic management at key junctions including the introduction of traffic signals, to reduce congestion; and introducing cameras and detection equipment to provide information on traffic flows to a central control room, which can alter traffic signals to help break up traffic queues and give buses priority where possible; and modernising the bus fleet.
Regional government has endorsed £14m for the package, whilst the county council will add a further £1.5m
Work on the Weymouth Showcase element of the scheme is continuing. Funding for this part of the transport package was brought forward so that the county council could buy the equipment needed, install it and test it before 2012. The bus stops on the Portland-Weymouth-Dorchester corridor will be improved, with Dorset Works Organisation starting at stops on Portland and working north towards Dorchester. There will be 50 refurbished bus stops, 30 additional shelters and around 130 stops will be equipped with real time passenger. There will also be a bus/rail interchange at Weymouth railway station, which includes improving signals at King Street junction with Queen Street, and providing a setting down point for buses. Electronic signs will be installed around the borough guiding motorists to available car parking space; these will be complemented with real time ‘flag’ signs at the relevant car parks: Swannery, Park Street, Melcombe Regis, Harbourside, the multi-storey and Cosens Quay.
Hanson Contracting is the main contractor for the project, whilst the contract for supplying the real time passenger information system has been awarded to ACIS.