Argument for pedestrianisation

SIR - The traffic problems in Sidmouth are a hotly debated subject.

People I happen to meet in queues or in cafes, or on benches in gardens and parks, would like to see Sidmouth town centre pedestrianised. At present, they are terrified of getting knocked over by vehicles belting down the High Street or Fore Street, or careering across Market Place, or accelerating out of Sidmouth Hospital car park, or tearing along All Saints Road.

Admittedly, a few traders think that, with pedestrianisation, they would lose custom from car drivers no longer passing by and noticing their shop. Really, those car drivers ought to be watching out to avoid hitting pedestrians, so this is an argument in favour of pedestrianisation, rather than one against it.

I personally have first hand experience of pedestrianisation in Weston-super-Mare and Reading, where traders were nervous their turnover would suffer, but, in fact, they are now surprised at having a big increase in custom as people come into the town especially to shop, feeling free to wander around in a safe environment and now everyone loves it, any negative aspects having been overcome. Therefore, pedestrianisation is not an experiment, but a big advantage of the experiences of other towns as there are more around the country with similar success stories.

If it goes pear-shaped, readers can write furious letters blaming me.

Miriam Brown


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6 Lennox Avenue