Sidmouth residents ‘gassed’ by parked coaches

A coach parked at Manor Road Car Park A coach parked at Manor Road Car Park

Monday, August 4, 2014
6:10 AM

Noxious fumes from coach engines are leaving some Sidmouth seafront residents unable to open their windows or enjoy their gardens.

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Homeowners near the Manor Road car park say drivers should clean up their act and be fined for wasting fuel in the name of keeping their passengers cool.

They claim some leave their motors running for up to an hour and have reacted aggressively at requests to turn them off, and are calling for fines to be enforced.

Ron Prankard said: “Every time I go to sit down outside someone seems to start their engine up

“There are signs up [advising drivers to switch off their engines] but they don’t take any notice.”

His wife Joyce, a former health and safety advisor, added: “The fumes are both harmful and annoying.”

She said notices at Seaton warn coach drivers they can be fined for leaving engines on and asked for consistency across district council’s car parks.

One driver, who did not want to be named, said: “People want the tourists but they don’t want the coaches – they can’t have it both ways.”

He said engines need to be run for a few minutes to get the turbo oil out, but no more, and some vehicles are now fitted with detectors to deter fuel wastage.

A spokesman for East Devon District Council, which owns the car park, said: “We are aware of neighbours’ concerns and a senior member of our parking services team visited a resident recently.

“It was agreed to generate a letter that will be handed to each coach driver asking that engines are not left running.

“Signage will be repositioned so that drivers are aware of the need to switch off engines once they have parked up.

“The situation will be kept under review but reformatting the car park to move coaches would be a difficult operation and is not considered justified for what is essentially a short-term seasonal problem.”

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