“Insane” road wrangle could cost Sidmouth �1million

A ROADWORKS wrangle saw Sidmouth business leaders voice fears an “insane” diversion route could cost the town centre �1million.

The chairman of Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce complained to highways bosses after it appeared motorists, heading to the town through Honiton, were being sent on a “25-mile” detour due to the placement of a ‘road closed’ sign.

Richard Eley said motorists could make a three-mile trip instead.

The diversion is related to the five-week closure of School Street, Sidford, while Wales and West Utilities carries out work.

“We’re extremely fed up, again,” said Mr Eley on Tuesday. “There are serious implications for the town’s economy, again.

“A detour of 25 miles is completely unnecessary. The cost to Sidmouth is going to be very high. Over five weeks, it would cost the town centre more than �1million - even in January. It’s insane.”

Mr Eley said, rather than travelling back towards Exeter, drivers could head towards the Hare and Hounds and turn left, where they would eventually come out on the A3052.

Most Read

Devon County Council (DCC) looked into the matter.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, cabinet member for highways and transportation, said yesterday: “Wales and West has signed the agreed diversion (from Honiton) via the A30 to Daisymount, joining the A3052 at Aylesbeare.

“They have also added extra signs to say that businesses are open as usual.

“This diversion route is suitable for all traffic including HGVs, but we (DCC) will also be signing an alternative route for light vehicles along the A375 from Honiton to Putts Corner, turning off onto Seaton Road to head towards the A3052.”