'No brainer' proposal to make Sidmouth street 20mph to go before traffic committee

PUBLISHED: 07:01 25 January 2019 | UPDATED: 09:28 28 January 2019

Temple Street traffic. Ref shh 21 18TI 4168. Picture: Terry Ife

Temple Street traffic. Ref shh 21 18TI 4168. Picture: Terry Ife

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Plans to reduce the speed limit of a Sidmouth town road to 20mph is a 'no brainer' says Devon's highway boss.

Temple Street traffic. Ref shh 21 18TI 4168. Picture: Terry IfeTemple Street traffic. Ref shh 21 18TI 4168. Picture: Terry Ife

Councillor Stuart Hughes says he has had a high number of requests from residents to drop the speed limit in Temple Street from 30mph.

The councillor, who is Devon County Council’s cabinet member for highways, has requested the matter be considered at the next East Devon Highways and Traffic Orders Committee (HATOC) meeting in March.

He said the road is the only local centre (in Sidmouth) that is not in a 20mph zone and also wants to extend it to Vicarage Road to reduce the limit near Sidmouth Primary School.

If supported, a road traffic order and consultation would need to be carried out but Mr Hughes said he would be happy to contribute from his locality budget towards the scheme.

Cllr Hughes said: “Over the past five to six years, I have received many requests for the speed limit to be lowered to 20mph from local residents who use the remaining shops in the Temple Street local centre and also use the zebra crossing which some inconsiderate drivers take no notice of.”

Following the announcement, campaigners from the Sidbury Traffic Action Group (STAG) called on the highway boss to pursue calls residents made last year to extend the existing 20mph zone throughout the whole village.

A spokesman said: “We believe that the Sidbury public meetings attended by 70 and 50 residents respectively, must at least meet the requirement contained in your tweet of ‘many requests’ and from ‘local residents’.”

Cllr Hughes said he will raise the question again with officers.

He added: “Woolbrook, Sidford and Sidbury all benefit from the lower speed and it improves the quality of life for local residents and those using the local facilities and businesses. I do believe that this is a no brainer and hopefully the scheme could be implemented.”

Also reacting to the news was James McLean, who owns Sidmouth Pets and Aquatics, in Temple Street, said he felt the roads narrowness and often parked vehicles helped to keep the speed down.

He said: “It is a very busy road, it’s very narrow and the pavements are narrow. I do not know if the 20mph is absolutely essential, but I do not think it is a bad idea.”

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