Public consultation to launch into new parking restrictions in Sidmouth

Sidmouth Esplanade. Ref shs 27 18TI 7051. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth Esplanade. Ref shs 27 18TI 7051. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

A new coach drop-off point on The Esplanade will not cause problems, say highway bosses, as a number of new parking restrictions head out to public consultation.

Devon County Council's Highway and Traffic Orders Committee (HATOC) has proposed changes at seven sites across Sidmouth.

Among them is the Esplanade, where a 'no loading at any time' and 'buses only' bay is proposed. The new restrictions would be to prevent blue badge holders parking outside The Marine and provide a place for buses to park outside the Kingswood Hotel.

The changes were requested by hoteliers along the seafront to assist with passengers arriving and leaving the hotels.

The proposals were put before Sidmouth Town Council for its say on Monday evening before heading to the public for a formal consultation.

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Councillors raised concerns about the length of time coaches would be blocking nearby businesses including The Marine and the Pea Green Boat.

Cllr John Loudoun said: "I would have thought the last thing we would want to do is to put coaches in front of businesses that are trying to attract people to come one and stay there two to eat and drink there.

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"That's part and parcel of coming and enjoying the seafront."

In response, Cllr Stuart Hughes, who is chairman of the HATOC committee, said outside The Marine was the most 'logical' place to put the bay and would lose at most four car parking spaces.

He told the meeting: "The hotels are our number one business. We rely on those.

"So by putting a bus there, you're not blocking the view from anybody as its only going to be there five minutes while they unload and the same while they pick up."

The council suggested as part of the consultation a parking restriction should be placed on the bay saying coaches for no more than 20 minutes.

No waiting restrictions could be imposed in Ashley Crescent, Seafield Road, The Grove, Pathworlands, Malden Road and Primley Mead to prevent obstructive parking at various sections along the road. Cllr Jenny Ware said she was worried that the parking problems would be moved to the other side of Ashley Crescent.

All of the proposals will now go to a formal consultation.

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