Too much clutter on our pavements just a sign of the times

High Street

High Street - Credit: Archant

I’m going to start this week with a couple of issues that have been brought to my attention on matters affecting us here in Sidmouth.  

The first of these is the proliferation of pavement signs that adorn our narrow pavements in the town centre. These seem to be accumulating rapidly and I wonder what action the council are likely to take on them? 

When you combine the sheer volume of pavement signs with the number of products that shops have on the pavement it does make it incredibly difficult to justify them as we have to think of those who are in wheelchairs, those pushing prams and pushchairs and those who are visually impaired.

Can there be any justification for the numbers that are currently on our pavements? Some might say this is especially relevant as pedestrians try to socially distance from one another. I was talking to somebody the other day who said that the number of pavement signs is becoming counter-productive for the businesses who are using them. By having the pavement signs outside their premises they are preventing people from looking in the shop windows and with our narrow pavements people are not hanging around as they don’t want to be blocking the way.

Finally, a tongue in cheek idea. Counting the number of signs in the town could be a good way to occupy your time and teach the youngsters to count! I’m guessing there may be in excess of one hundred! Start at The Old Post Office and work your way down. You’ll be especially busy in Old Fore Street! An issue to debate in the quieter months.  

Another issue that has been brought to my attention is the current slipperiness of the road surface in the ford. A lady who lives in that area told me of several recent incidents where people have come off their bikes and injured themselves. It feels like this is a public health warning but please take care. Better still dismount from your bike and wheel it over the footbridge.  

On the sporting front, Sidmouth Rugby Club have their first home league game of the season this Saturday against Lydney. Kick off is at 3pm. Hopefully their injury situation has improved and they are able to field a stronger side. Last week they started their league campaign with a defeat at Keynsham.  

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Next Saturday, the 18th of September, is the Sidmouth Classic Car Show on the cricket ground. Please do all you can to support this event which has become a big event in the Sidmouth calendar. The gates are open from 11am to 4.30pm. Even if you are not attending you can enjoy the vehicles as they make their way through Sidmouth to The Fortfield.  

Finally I have been made aware of a new business called Wild Coast Escapes that is being run from here in Sidmouth by local resident Ronnie Masters. It offers small groups of likeminded people 3 nights of trail running, wild swimming and yoga by the coast in stunning South Devon. It is based in a detached barn on the banks of the River Dart. Full of character, the property has jaw dropping views.

Guests are joined throughout their stay by a team of experts who are at hand to offer advice, tips and analysis on individuals swimming and running, ensuring that everyone gets the very most out of their escape. Their in-house caterers make sure that everyone is fuelled by plentiful delicious, organic, locally sourced food. Every single element of the weekend is taken care of allowing guests to focus on the challenges at hand and savour the experience.

This is an energising break for anyone that wants to immerse themselves in everything that the stunning South Devon coast has to offer. The date of the next Escape is 1st - 4th October. Find out more at 

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