Old Fore Street pedestrian zone will be open for bicycles to use

Old Fore Street will be shared between pedestrians and cyclists

Old Fore Street will be shared between pedestrians and cyclists - Credit: Alex Walton

Soon we’ll know if the current restrictions will be lifted on June 21. At the time of writing, the figures for hospitalisations and deaths are still low. I believe the Portugal fiasco was to ensure no cases of the variant came from there as the Government is desperate to go ahead with the lifting of restrictions. Data not dates they said. We’ll see!

No doubt there will be a lot of debate and opinions concerning the proposed plans for the town centre in Sidmouth. This concerns the plans for pedestrianism in Old Fore Street, New Street, Market Place and Church Street. We have all got used to the current arrangements which have run from 11am to 5pm for the latter part of the pandemic. The plans would see the area permanently pedestrianised. Speaking to some people, there is a concern about bikes using the pedestrianised area but I’m sure the bikes that use Old Fore Street will be going considerably slower than the ones that use Fore Street! If they don’t there could be carnage. Residents will still have to use their cars to get access to their properties in the area and deliveries to commercial premises will still have to take place. I am confident that disabled drivers will only use the pedestrianised zone when it is absolutely necessary. Hopefully the business owners and taxi firms will be happy with the proposed arrangements.
Works are continuing on a number of commercial premises in Sidmouth and it will be interesting to see what new businesses will take their place in the town. The former Edinburgh Woollen Mill premises are being improved considerably as are premises in New Street next to Moshulu.

I was shocked to hear that the travellers, who had parked at the Sidford rugby ground, had caused a fair bit of trouble in the town. Something we could certainly do without. Well done to the local authority and various others for dealing with this situation in a prompt and peaceful manner.

Many congratulations to local resident Frank Symington who turned 90 last week. Frank played various sports in the town including cricket. He is a regular spectator at the cricket and rugby. It was good to see him enjoying his ham, eggs and chips at Sidmouth Garden Centre! If you come across a queue of traffic in the town it is likely that Frank is leading it in his mobile scooter!

I was sorry to read that local farmer and racehorse trainer Stewart Pike had passed away. Stewart and his wife Monique had several useful horses over the years. Amongst them was Proud Son who won the Horse and Hound Cup at Stratford in 1996. They also bred Splash Of Ginge who won a big handicap chase at Cheltenham a few years ago and was trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies.

The best of luck to near neighbour John Keast who tomorrow, Saturday, June 12, celebrates his 60th birthday by running his last marathon. He is raising money for Cardiac Risk in the Young, a charity close to John’s heart (pardon the unintended pun) as he has himself had a long standing heart condition. The very best of luck to him. It makes me feel tired just thinking about it!

The Devonshire weather was at it again last Saturday. Sidmouth 1st XI were rained off at Plymouth after posting a decent score. Congratulations to Isaac Thomas who scored his maiden 1st XI league century. The 2nd XI beat Sandford comfortably and the 3rd XI had a fine win away at Chardstock. This weekend the 1st XI travel to Paignton with the 2nd XI at home to Shobrooke Park and the 3rd XI at home to Kentisbeare.

Finally what a great comeback from Exeter Chiefs last Sunday at Northampton. 18-0 down at half time they won 29-26. It’s Sale at home this weekend in the Premiership. A win will guarantee a home semi final.

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