Manor Road car park barriers are ‘ultimate answer’

Manor Road Car Park

Manor Road Car Park - Credit: Archant

Residents who have been blighted by nuisance boy racers hope they are close to a permanent solution after they received the backing of Sidmouth’s police sergeant.

More than 50 people from homes surrounding Manor Road car park signed a petition urging its district council owners to install barriers that would stop the nuisance, which includes engine revving and loud music – sometimes as late as 4am.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) bosses could consider their appeal next month, but this week Sergeant Andy Squires added his name to the growing list in support of an overnight obstacle.

Addressing town councillors on Monday, he said that barriers would be the ‘ultimate answer’.

But he also said that his team would be ‘continuing its purge on young, noisy drivers’ in the meantime.

The petition from residents went before Sidmouth Town Council in August, where members resolved to wait and see if the police crackdown had an impact before considering closing the car park at night.

In a letter to the authority, after its August meeting, Manor Road resident Richard Gibbs expressed his disappointment - and that of other homeowners - that the council had not ‘understood the urgency of the issue’.

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He said: “The idea that residents can call out the police on every occasion, or that they can be on constant patrol, is wholly unrealistic. [The police] obviously cannot be expected to mount a round-the-clock system to address this sort of problem.

“Barriers are the only permanent solution, and are urgently needed.”

An EDDC spokesman said this week: “We have consulted with Sidmouth ward members, Sidmouth Town Council, the chamber of commerce and residents on these suggestions and we will be presenting details of the petition, together with the results of the consultation, to cabinet this winter.

“We will ask members to consider the evidence, which will include our own recommendation.

“Members will then decide on the best way forward.”

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