Sidmouth traffic “horrendous” Vision Group hears

The need to sort out Sidmouth’s traffic problems was highlighted at the Vision Group’s annual meeting.

SIDMOUTH’S traffic problem is horrendous, says its county councillor.

“When people come to Sidmouth they say ‘what a lovely town, but the traffic is terrible’, Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council portfolio holder for highways and transportation, told members of the Vision Group for Sidmouth at its third annual meeting last week.

He and Andrew Ardley, DCC’s transportation manager (policy) were keynote speakers at the meeting. Mr Hughes said when a round table meeting of key groups, including the emergency services, Chamber of Commerce, Hospitality Association and Stagecoach, considered how to progress transport issues in the town, “everyone came up with three issues they would like addressed - park and ride, pedestrianisation of the town and a traffic management plan for Sidmouth. We are well on the way with the Local Transport Plan Two, with Three round the corner.”

Devon has 8,000 miles of roads and 11,000 illuminated road signs and bollards, and as portfolio holder Mr Hughes also has responsibility for sorting out 70,000 potholes. He said the Local Transport Plan Three would run from 2011 to 2026, adding: “I believe it will, in there, identify issues we would like to see addressed in Sidmouth.”

Mr Ardley said: “We are keen to pick up on the visions for transport in the area. If everyone says the same, it makes life easier to come up with priorities and where to spend money on.” LTP3 is up for public consultation in early September and will consider capital and draft expenditure.