Major Sidmouth talks ‘soon’

But Seaton gets first dibs on traffic problem solutions

SIDMOUTH’S wait for traffic management plan talks could be over soon - but the town must play second fiddle to Seaton first.

County highways chief Stuart Hughes this week revealed that talks with interested parties will take place ‘in the not too distant future’, but added his ‘first priority is in Seaton.’

“In both towns, everyone will have a chance to have their say into what is appropriate for the area,” said Councillor Hughes. Mr Hughes told the Herald earlier this year, how Sidmouth will have a ‘golden opportunity’ to formulate a long-awaited traffic management plan.

He added there will be ‘only one chance’ to compile a comprehensive long-term vision on how every aspect of traffic and transport is handled in and around Sidmouth.

Issues like town-centre pedestrianisation and park-and-ride will be up for debate.

Business leaders reacted to talk that shelved plans for controversial on-street parking meters could be revived by saying: “Over our dead bodies.”

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“We’re not going to let that happen,” said Chamber of Commerce chairman Richard Eley.

The Herald reported in January how ‘park and display’ proposals were “put on hold” after scores of objections.

Devon County Council (DCC) announced plans for Sidmouth and nine other coastal and market towns were suspended. The authority claimed the move would enable it to work with the community to draw up a detailed traffic management blueprint.

Mr Hughes said:“We’re not scrapping this process, we’re simply taking a step back. Some form of park/pay and display may well form part of those plans.”