Battle goes on over Sidmouth’s one-way plea

PUBLISHED: 16:01 06 October 2010 | UPDATED: 14:00 08 October 2010

No Loading signs would help stop Sidmouth High Street congestion says county councillor

THE need for a one-way traffic system in Sidmouth High Street “is blatantly obvious” says a town councillor.

For some years, Councillor Graham Liverton has pushed for the top part of the High Street to be made one way, in line with the rest of the town centre thoroughfare.

Currently the stretch of road from All Saints Road junction to Blackmore Drive, is two way, which causes daytime congestion.

At the September meeting of the Traffic Management Group at Woolcombe House, Paul Wilson, traffic engineer for Devon County Council, said there had been many objectors when the original consultation about implementing this system had been discussed.

The meeting suggested Mr Liverton “undertake a consultation to substantiate support” for the one-way scheme.

At Monday’s town council meeting, Mr Liverton said it was obvious no consultation was needed.

“Time and time again I have brought this up and time and again the town council supported it,” he said.

“This is passing the buck.”

He felt the committee was not treating the issue seriously although it was “a very serious matter”.

Although traffic was not too bad in the winter months, in the summer it was hazardous and he feared a pedestrian would be injured or killed by a driver.

Vice-chairman Councillor Stuart Hughes, DCC’s representative at the town council, said the sensible idea would be to introduce No Loading or Unloading signs on the west side of that part of High Street, which would stop all cars parking, including those with disabled badges, who currently stop there to go into nearby shops, such as the Original Factory Shop.

Mr Hughes said it would be costly and premature to make the road one-way, when, in two months’ time consultation was taking place on the Local Transport Plan for Sidmouth.

Councillor Ann Liverton described as “a feeble excuse” a suggestion that a one-way system would have an impact on air quality.

She said: “Some county council officers are making decisions, not councillors. What a feeble excuse, I could understand if traffic was going uphill, but on the whole this is on the flat.”

The battle continues.

For some years, Councillor Graham Liverton has pushed for the top part of the High Street to be made one way, in line with the rest of the town centre thoroughfare.

Currently the stretch of road from All Saints Road junction to Blackmore Drive, is two way, which causes daytime congestion.

At the September meeting of the Traffic Management Group at Woolcombe House, Paul Wilson, traffic engineer for Devon County Council, said there had been many objectors when the original consultation about implementing this system had been discussed.

The meeting suggested Mr Liverton “undertake a consultation to substantiate support” for the one-way scheme.

At Monday’s town council meeting, Mr Liverton said it was obvious no consultation was needed.

“Time and time again I have brought this up and time and again the town council supported it,” he said.

“This is passing the buck.”

He felt the committee was not treating the issue seriously although it was “a very serious matter”.

Although traffic was not too bad in the winter months, in the summer it was hazardous and he feared a pedestrian would be injured or killed by a driver.

Vice-chairman Councillor Stuart Hughes, DCC’s representative at the town council, said the sensible idea would be to introduce No Loading or Unloading signs on the west side of that part of High Street, which would stop all cars parking, including those with disabled badges, who currently stop there to go into nearby shops, such as the Original Factory Shop.

Mr Hughes said it would be costly and premature to make the road one-way, when, in two months’ time consultation was taking place on the Local Transport Plan for Sidmouth.

Councillor Ann Liverton described as “a feeble excuse” a suggestion that a one-way system would have an impact on air quality.

She said: “Some county council officers are making decisions, not councillors. What a feeble excuse, I could understand if traffic was going uphill, but on the whole this is on the flat.”

The battle continues.


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