Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Dealing with traffic in Sidmouth: Town Council requests County Council "that a review and Traffic Management Plan for Sidmouth be commenced as soon as possible."

Air pollution is a real issue developing in the UK:
Futures Forum: Banning diesel > smokescreens and powerplay
Futures Forum: "The UK government is “flouting” its duty to protect the lives and health of its citizens from illegal and dangerous levels of air pollution."
Futures Forum: Campaigning for a new Clean Air Act
Futures Forum: "Over 40,000* people die each year in the UK directly because of air pollution and it is simply unacceptable."

It is also an issue for  Devon:
Futures Forum: Gridlocked Devon >>> 'Devon Live' to debate "some of the major travel problems facing the county." >>> and to investigate "the attitude of local authorities to sustainable travel and highlight some of Devon's pollution hotspots"

And for East Devon:
Futures Forum: Air pollution and over-development: Exeter and East Devon "recording high readings" of nitrogen dioxide emissions

And for Sidmouth:
Futures Forum: Keeping lorries out of Sidmouth's town centre  >>> "an out-of-town distribution centre could be created so deliveries can be transferred from massive lorries into smaller vehicles"
Futures Forum: Buses and coaches jamming Sidmouth's streets >>> “There has to be a Park and Ride for large coaches so they do not go into town.”

Development plans for Sidmouth would not decrease the amount of traffic:
Futures Forum: Is it 'Park & Change' or 'Park & Ride'?
Futures Forum: VGS comment on Fords planning application 16/0669/MOUT >>> 'inappropriate', 'unsustainable' and 'overdeveloped'
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal and the Eastern Town: reducing the amount of land given over to vehicle movements while introducing residential and employment spaces

It is a question of the 'wrong type of development':
Futures Forum: "Building new roads makes traffic worse" >>> Devon has more road than anywhere else, but also the slowest roads in the country

And the 'right sort of development':
Futures Forum: Trees, people and the built environment
Futures Forum: Sidford to Sidbury cycle and foot path > further link to complete first phase
Futures Forum: Exeter is the UK's first city to launch an electric bike-sharing scheme
Futures Forum: Cities Without Cars @ Costing the Earth on Radio 4
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: waterborne transport and a jetty

Dealing with traffic is as the heart of dealing with pollution.

Unfortunately, because the issues around 'traffic' are varied and complex, it means they are also intractable - with no easy solutions to the satisfaction of all.

Five years ago, in July 2012, damage was done to the Unitarian church at the top of Sidmouth's High Street - resulting in appeals for the County Council to erect protective bollards along the pavement, as is done in many other towns with old narrow streets. Instead , it was suggested at the time that loading restrictions could be moved back to 8 am "as an interim measure." 

Four years ago, in October 2013, further damage happened at the same spot:
Futures Forum: Traffic Management Plan for Sidmouth: serious incidents at the pinch point at the top of Sidmouth High Street

The District Council has promised to consider all the options with a 'Traffic Management Plan':
utures Forum: Traffic Management Plan for Sidmouth: "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."

This has been on the cards for some time:

At the last Town Council meeting, it was resolved to follow up the issue:

"The Town Clerk would contact Chris Rooke DCC Highways Officer to request that a review and Traffic Management Plan for Sidmouth be commenced as soon as possible."

Minutes of the Meeting of Sidmouth Town Council - 14 August 2017

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