Thursday, 19 September 2013

Traffic Management Plan for Sidmouth

This evening the streets of central Sidmouth were free of traffic - no parked cars and no-through roads. Tomorrow morning it will be the same - although up to 10,ooo pedestrians are expected to fill the streets:
Futures Forum: Big day for Sidmouth: Tour of Britain: Fri 20th Sept

What are your views on the issues facing Sidmouth?
> pedestrianization
> car-parking
> public transport
> one/two-way traffic
> congestion
> cycling
> waterborne transport
> park & ride/change

These have been bubbling for some time:
Sidmouth pedestrianisation debate continues - News - Eastern Daily Press

Sidmouth's County Councillor Stuart Hughes has been intent on calling together a roundtable to discuss these issues:


1. Will continue to ensure your money is spent wisely and protect County services in Sidmouth.
2. Continue to improve and make our roads and pavements safer and uphold measures to maintain and upgrade the network of public footpaths and bridleways in the Sid Valley.
3. Work in partnership with other authorities and organisations in producing a comprehensive Traffic Management Plan and Neighbourhood Plan for Sidmouth and to make our community an even safer place to live.
4. Continue to support all our local schools and youth service thereby affording the opportunity for each child and young person to reach their full potential.
5. Continue supporting Green Close a flagship for care in the Sid Valley and support reablement and independent living for the elderly.
Stuart has set about arranging a round table involving members of local authorities and organisations to look at a comprehensive Traffic Management Plan for Sidmouth including possible partial pedestrianisation of the town centre, site/s for Park and Change, safe cycling routes in and around the town, residents parking, waterborne transport etc...."We have a golden opportunity to address Sidmouth's future traffic and transport issues which will help improve everyone's quality of life and shopping experience".

“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.”

Traffic Management has been considered formally by the Town Council since 2008:
www.sidmouth.gov.uk/PDFs/STC Minutes 2008/STC - 2008.11.03.pdf
www.sidmouth.gov.uk/PDFs/STC Minutes 2008/STC - 2008.12.01.pdf

Members heard that a Round Table had recently been formed, which included a number of representatives from DCC, EDDC, Sidmouth Town Council, Sidmouth Chamber of 
Commerce, the Police, Devon Fire and Rescue, Stagecoach and Vision For Sidmouth group. 
At its first meeting the representatives had been asked to identify three things they would like to see in Sidmouth and top of the list was a park and ride facility. Also included in the list was a modern recycling and transport hub, traffic management plan, impact assessment for emergency vehicle access in the town, better use of bus routes and improvements to the sustainability of the town. 
It was felt that provision of a park and ride facility would unlock other issues within the town for discussion, such as partially (or completely) pedestrianisation of the town centre to improve the shopping experience, quality of life for those who live in the town and air quality and looking at a transport management plan for the town. At present there was no bus servicing the Knowle

With the Vision Group and other community organisations very much behind the project:
Vision Group for Sidmouth - Transport 

DCC Cllr Stuart Hughes has been considering cycle programmes for some time and as Highways portfolio holder has been able to give impetus and guidance. Furthermore, he will be establishing a round table to establish a comprehensive Sidmouth Traffic Management Plan. We understand that this group will look at the Sidmouth to Bowd section of the Feniton cycle route, along with other cycleway links in and around Sidmouth and how these will link in with other routes. 
Vision Group for Sidmouth - VGS proposal to STC for funding 

And indeed, the Vision Group's 2006 Report considered transport and traffic issues in detail:
Vision Group for Sidmouth - Original Vision Group Report

However, there have been delays:

Work to commence on a comprehensive Traffic Management Plan for Sidmouth delayed.

Due to the flooding events that have hit Devon during the last six months the round table that I was hoping to commence in January 2013 to start the process of looking at an comprehensive TMP (Traffic Management Plan) for Sidmouth has been delayed.....As soon as all the issues relating to Bellwin funding for flooding etc have been addressed and the outcomes of the Civil Parking Enforcement review have been agreed , we shall then be able to proceed   Two representatives will be invited to attend from the Town and District Councils, the Chamber of Commerce, Hospitality Association, Vision Group for Sidmouth and one representative from ALL the Emergency Services, Police, Fire and Ambulance and bus operators Stagecoach and Axe Valley.
The members of the group will look at everything to do with Traffic Management including the provision of Park and Change, Pedestrianisation/Partial Pedestrianisation, Residents Parking, Car Parking etc
 The recommendations from the round table will go out for public consultation before being submitted to the County Council
I do hope that everyone will have an input as traffic management is the key to many issues here in Sidmouth.

1 comment:

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