Plans to pedestrianise Sidmouth town centre put forward

Sidmouth town centre

Pedestrianisation plans would see cyclists being allowed to use Old Fore Street - Credit: Alex Walton

Plans to permanently pedestrianise parts of Sidmouth town centre have been put forward to make the area more attractive and reduce congestion.

Last summer, as part of Covid-19 safety measures, Old Fore Street, New Street, Market Place and Church Street became traffic free between 11am and 5pm every day.
But now, traffic order proposals to convert the area around the town square into a permanent pedestrian zone are out for consultation.
In a statement of reasons behind the scheme, Devon County Council in the document says that the proposal is to improve road safety by reducing the volume of traffic in streets which are narrow.
It adds: “The streets generate significant pedestrian flows. It will improve the character and amenity of the local area and make the town centre more attractive for pedestrians, particularly the older and younger road users. It will reduce traffic congestion and potentially improve air quality and the character of the environment.”
 
The proposals would see:

  • The amendment of the current Old Fore Street pedestrian zone to be a prohibition of motor vehicles zone, in order to allow cyclists to use the road
  • To amend the restrictions in New Street, Market Place and Church Street to prohibit motor vehicles at all times of the day
  • The removal of the limited waiting bays in Church Street
  • To convert the disabled bays in New Street into disabled bays with a three hour maximum stay
  • To removal the limited waiting bays in Market Place
  • To bring back into use the limited waiting bays in Fore Street near the junction with the Esplanade which was converted into a taxi rank

Emergency vehicles, goods vehicles loading/unloading, and for access to the properties within the proposed pedestrianised zone would be retained under the scheme, as would the ability for hackney carriages wishing to access the taxi rank and a disabled person’s vehicle wishing to access the disabled bays.
Anyone wishing to object or make any other comments specifying the proposal and the grounds on which they are made must be in writing to County Solicitor, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter EX2 4QD or via https://devon.cc/tro to arrive by July 2, 2021.
It is expected that the scheme would then go before the East Devon Highways and Traffic Orders Committee for approval before any final decision around implementation would be taken.

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