SIR - In answer to ‘Empty’ Seaton?’ - letter from Pat Roberts, I would like to make the following observations.
A while ago, we carried out a survey in Seaton of the shops in both Fore and Queen Street. Only one shopkeeper said that he preferred Fore Street when it was not a pedestrian area, others said they were worried when the scheme was introduced that they would lose shoppers, but, subsequently, there was little or no reduction in trade.
One said that it was a pleasure seeing people walking past his shop, browsing in his window, also being allowed to keep his front door open without the worry of fumes from vehicles entering his shop. A further owner said that, to avoid large lorries from having to enter the town, he had an arrangement to meet the delivery lorry out of the town and bring the goods to his shop to support the improvements the pedestrianisation had provided.
To ensure we could answer Pat’s email, we have, once again, been to Seaton and found that in Fore Street there are only two shops that have closed, one that sold sandwiches/rolls, also one that traded in Oriental Goods; near the seafront the old Woolworths store, which was taken over by the Carpetright dealer, had also closed.
So, I wonder if Pat knows more than what our eyes have seen.
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There seemed to be more concern about the parking meters that have been installed on the seafront amongst the residents, visitors and Commerce of Seaton.
Once again, all we ask of DCC for is a Traffic Management plan for Sidmouth which will enhance the town, make it a pleasure to live in and be a safe place for the pedestrian.
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I also stand by my comments to Hugo Swire.