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Sidmouth pedestrianisation debate continues

PUBLISHED: 15:27 21 March 2011

A Woolbrook resident suggests MP Hugo Swire should talk to others in Sidmouth before warning against pedestrianisation of the town centre.

A WOOLBROOK resident suggests his local MP talks to others in Sidmouth before warning against pedestrianisation of the town centre.

East Devon MP Hugo Swire recently urged residents to “be very cautious and think this one through”.

Now David Addis from Whitton Court says: “There are some of us in the town who believe there is a need for Devon County Council to urgently look at a Transport Management Plan for the town, which may or may not involve some form of pedestrian extension in the town.

“Until this has taken place, both the Herald and Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce need to refrain from stirring the pot, which I might say could now have had a detrimental effect on our efforts to influence our councillor and the officers of the county council for the betterment of the town, which we badly need.”

He questions who the MP spoke to before commenting on the town’s traffic problems and said meetings had been held with DCC Councillor Stuart Hughes and county officers about the problem of traffic movement through the town centre and “conflicts that occur with the shoppers/pedestrians.

“The meeting provided a clear statement to DCC there was a wish that in the 2012 Local Transport Plan for the county a Traffic Management Plan for the town should be included,” he said.

“From his comments it is clear Mr. Swire is not a regular visitor to our town, he has not had to step off the pavements into the road of Fore Street to allow others that are less able to pass.

“Many times this involves being aware of fast moving cars, coaches, articulated and large lorries that have to navigate the narrow roads to leave the town.

“On regular occasions these large vehicles have to mount the pavements to navigate down the street, which has a detrimental effect on the pavement slabs, either breaking them and causing them to become unstable.

“Maybe he has not been in the town to see a person trip over on the broken and uneven footpath suffering injuries.”

He suggests Mr Swire talk to others in the town “as there are many ways a professional organisation could produce a traffic management plan for our town that would ensure people who visit the town and spend their monies could do so in an enjoyable environment.”

*Have your say on this subject. Email sidmouth.editorial@archant.co.uk or join our website forum at www.sidmouthherald.co.uk.

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