Sidmouth International School owner’s traffic fears

“At some stage some kid is going to get run over,” says boss

THE campaigning owner of Sidmouth International School fears for the safety of his young students unless town-centre traffic issues are tackled.

Darrell Dumenil has called for bollards to be put in place in High Street to deter drivers from flouting loading restrictions – and to stop vehicles from frequently mounting a narrow pavement near the school.

He says lorries create congestion and speeding vans and cars pose a risk to pedestrians.

“It’s more luck than judgement we haven’t had a crash of metal on bone,” Mr Dumenill, who’s been calling for action for five years, told the Herald.

“At some stage some kid is going to get run over, and then all hell will break loose. We do appreciate the (county) council putting in loading restrictions, but they are no good if nobody takes any notice of them.

“I don’t think we’re ever going to get enforcement. The solution as far as I’m concerned is bollards in High Street. I’d be prepared to pay for them if it’s a question of restricted finance.

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“It’s not just my students, it’s everybody at risk.

“There’s no curb on that narrow pavement. There’s no deterrent there, it’s almost an invitation for drivers to come off the road.”

Mr Dumenil added large vehicles knock down the Sidmouth International School sign in May Terrace several times a year.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council (DCC) cabinet member for highways and transportation, said in response to Mr Dumenil’s concerns: “The footways on both sides of the road in this area are extremely narrow, and any bollards would make them even narrower, causing an obstruction for disabled pedestrians, and prams, forcing them into the road.

“There is an alternative route for pedestrians wishing to access the town centre from the location of the school in Blackmore View, via Blackmore Gardens, which we would encourage the school to promote with its students.

Civil enforcement officers should also be encouraged to enforce the restrictions that have been put in place and DCC will talk to East Devon District Council as they carry out the enforcement on behalf of the county.”