MP's warning over Sidmouth pedestrianisation

PUBLISHED: 11:37 26 February 2011

Hugo Swire.

Hugo Swire.

Copyright: R Braine cyberphotographer.com

Don't be too hasty in choosing to support a pedestrianised Sidmouth High Street, says East Devon MP Hugo Swire

DON’T be too hasty in choosing to support a pedestrianised Sidmouth High Street.

That is the message this week from East Devon MP, Hugo Swire, who joins the debate on whether the town centre should oust traffic to reduce congestion.

“I urge people to be very cautious and think this one through and the law of unintended consequences,” he said.

“The easy option is to say no cars in the middle of Sidmouth, then use a Greenfield site for a Park and Ride.

“Given the recession and that a lot of Sidmouth’s shops were hit by recent roadworks, they should be given every encouragement.

“We are a destination for tourists and I wouldn’t want to see anything to reduce the foot-fall and amount of people being able to park and shop and them driving to businesses elsewhere.”

While it might be a popular choice to pedestrianise the whole town centre, the MP said people should think carefully as to whether this was really what was wanted and whether a Park and Ride was necessary.

“We are a small seaside town, not a big city like Exeter, will people still come to Sidmouth or go elsewhere?

“It is inconvenient having congestion, but it may be the lesser of two evils.”

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