Sidmouth will only be partially pedestrianised for three months

Parts of Sidmouth will be pedestrianised for three months

Parts of Sidmouth will be pedestrianised for three months - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth will be partially pedestrianised for three months as part of a plan to show the town is open and safe for business.

Sidmouth Town Council (STC) was invited by Devon County Council Highways to take advantage of recent legislation which supports and encourages towns to take measures to help shoppers with safe access to their high streets whilst maintaining social distancing requirements.

A scheme will come into force from Monday, June 22, and will last for three months until September 30, not 18 as originally thought, after being signed off with Devon County Council.

Measures are detailed below:

Fore Street:

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• No vehicle will be able to stop and wait in Fore Street, from its junction with East Street for 50 metres in a southerly direction.

• Only taxis will be able wait on the east side, from a point of four metres north of its junction with The Esplanade for a distance of 20 metres.

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• Only blue badge holders will be able to wait or park on the west side, from a point of five metres north of its junction with The Esplanade for a distance of 20 metres. Disabled blue badge holders will be exempt for a maximum of three hours on this restriction.

Old Fore Street:

• No vehicles, except access and permit holders, will be able to use this road between 11am and 5pm. The existing prohibition allowing permit holders and loading for goods vehicles will still apply between 5pm and 11am.

New Street, Market Place and Church Street:

• No vehicles can use or wait on these roads, except access - eg residents who live on the street, between 11am to 5pm. This temporary restriction is considered necessary to enable Covid-19 social distancing.

The council, Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce (CoC) and hoteliers have been discussing possible ways to make pedestrians feel safer in the often-narrow streets which would otherwise be incompatible with social distancing.

Councillor Ian Barlow, STC’s chair, said: “The town council wanted to show visitors and residents that Sidmouth is a safe town to visit whilst still permitting social distancing and that we are adapting to the current challenging situation. We have such a beautiful town and want people to know that it’s a safe to visit and shop in too.”

David Cook, CoC’s chair, added: “Our shops and businesses are working hard to take measures to ensure that they can trade at this time and, by allowing more space for people to freely walk and browse whilst socially distancing, the council has created a more enjoyable atmosphere for everyone whilst still allowing traffic access to the town and Esplanade. Sidmouth is open for business.”

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