Park and Ride service and parking strategy to tackle town centre problems
PUBLISHED: 12:21 19 August 2019 | UPDATED: 12:29 19 August 2019
A park and ride on the outskirts of Sidmouth are among the top ideas to relieve pressure on the town's roads and car parks.
The scheme is among the proposals outlined in the emerging Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan (SVNP) document to improve access to town centre and surrounding villages.
The Herald will be taking each section of the plan and breaking down the policies and their proposed impact on the Sid Valley community ahead of a referendum on September 19.
If adopted, the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan will act as a blueprint for future developments in the area until 2032.
The plan said the Sid Valley is a popular tourist attraction with no rail connection and many car-based visitors and commuter traffic with limited on-street parking and frequently full car parks.
It added commercial traffic supporting the town's retail and hospitality industry could be 'unpleasant' for pedestrians, cyclists, mobility scooter and wheelchair users.
To improve access, a park and ride scheme, including a park and change, would be welcomed within the Bowd area or to the north of the town as it would accommodate visitors and not bring additional traffic to the town centre.
The document said: "Events such as Sidmouth Folk Week and the Red Arrows display increase the population by thousands for the duration of these events, adding a burden to the road network. A park and ride is needed to relive the pressure on Sidmouth's roads and car parks."
A parking strategy would also be developed to address current congestion issues.
The plan said: "The SVNP aims to provide a variety of travel choices, for the benefit of health, the natural environment and air quality.
"Over the plan period, the aim to ensure pedestrian friendly town and village centres, improved and reasonably charged parking, better managed HGVs and better cycling facilities."
The document sets out further aims to connect communities in the valley and make them accessible to all ages, abilities and modes of transport.
Under the policies, the plan would look to protect the area's green spaces and develop shared paths throughout to allow for safer movement throughout the Sid Valley.
In policy 15 the plan said where possible any new housing develops shall be designed to include shared paths for pedestrians and cyclists.
The plan said designs where cyclists can be separated from pedestrians or where cars are integrated the proposals will be supported.