No plans to repair Sidmouth street with alternative surface after concerns

PUBLISHED: 12:23 07 September 2017

A solution has been called for in Fore Street as heavy vehicles are forced to drive on the pavement to pass the loading bay which has lead to cracked pavements. This picture was taken on Monday, September 4.

A solution has been called for in Fore Street as heavy vehicles are forced to drive on the pavement to pass the loading bay which has lead to cracked pavements. This picture was taken on Monday, September 4.

Archant

A business owner has offered his solutions to stop the problem of heavy vehicles driving on the pavement in Fore Street.

Highway bosses have announced there are no plans to repair a Sidmouth street with an alternative surface after opposition from the town council and local businesses.

Devon County Council (DCC) had proposed using Bitmac to replace paving slabs in Fore Street which had been damaged by heavy vehicles mounting the pavement.

The idea to resurface in the conservation area was labelled as a ‘cheap nasty solution’ by business owner Steve Clarke and raised concerns it would ‘cheapen’ the area by the town council.

Mr Clarke, who runs The Rendezvous with his wife Lyn, supported DCC’s decision to not to Bitmac but said a solution was needed to stop vehicles driving on the pavement.

The businessman said: “The problem is caused by parked vehicles in the loading bay, whether it is a van the lorry will go up the pavement or vice versa.

“The answer to the problem has already been recommended by the local council and to move the loading bay to the wider section of road on the high street, but Fore Street will need to become a no stopping zone as any obstruction would force the HGV vehicles up the pavement.”

He said the pavements had been poorly maintained over the last few years resulting slabs to become a trip hazard for pedestrians.

“It does not take into account broken paving slabs or those that are just loose and some of these are appearing in sections of the pavement where cars and trucks do not mount the pavements.” Said Mr Clarke.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, DCC’s cabinet member for highways, said suggestions to enforce stopping regulations or move loading bays would need to be looked at by the council’s traffic orders process. He added: “The safety of the public has always been our primary concern and a common complaint is that rocking and cracked paving, damaged by heavy vehicles, is a trip hazard.

“The use of metal bollards to deter large vehicles on Fore Street’s pavement isn’t viable because the street is too narrow, so we asked businesses and the town council if they would support replacing the slabs with Bitmac.

“This surface when trafficked on a regular basis by large vehicles greatly outperforms paving and doesn’t crack and produce hard edges which can increase the potential for accidents.

“This was not supported.”


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