Sidmouth set for ‘traffic management’ talks

SIDMOUTH will have one “golden opportunity” to form a long-awaited comprehensive traffic management plan.

SIDMOUTH will have one “golden opportunity” to formulate a long-awaited traffic management plan.

Devon County Council (DCC) highways chief, Stuart Hughes, said this week there will be “only one chance” to compile a comprehensive long-term vision on how every aspect of traffic and transport is handled in and around Sidmouth.

Issues like town-centre pedestrianisation and park and ride will be up for debate when DCC begins talks with a “blank canvas,” said Councillor Hughes.

“We will have our own comprehensive traffic management plan once and for all,” he said, and urged the town: “It’s not going to happen again. When it does, take the opportunity- if you miss it you’ve missed it for good.

“This is a one-off chance to sort everything out.”

Mr Hughes said talks will be held with town and district councils, ‘blue light’ emergency services and Sidmouth’s chamber of commerce and hospitality association.

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The DCC cabinet member for highways and transportation also wants residents to have their say- through the Herald.

Mr Hughes anticipates full or partial pedestrianisation of the town-centre, park and ride, residential parking and improved access to the Alexandria Industrial Estate will be prominent issues.

He added speeding motorists, large lorries using some roads and cycle links were other concerns residents raised.

He couldn’t say when discussions will begin as it depends on officer resources at DCC.

Eleven other coastal and market towns in the region are in line for their own individual plans after the authority shelved proposals to install ‘park and display’ meters.

“I’d like to see Sidmouth as one of the first towns we look at,” said Mr Hughes.

“People come here and think what a beautiful place it is. We pride ourselves on unique and lovely shops, but terrible traffic sullies it.

“This is about how traffic is going to be managed in and around the town.

“Let the people have their say- it will help us.

“It’s a massive thing but it’s not going to happen over night.”

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