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Life under lockdown – and how Sidmouth might recover

  • by JW

Survey of how people felt about traffic and transport, shopping and delivery services, working from home and broadband


Last week, the results from the joint VGS/Town Council enviornment committee survey were published:

Learning from Lockdown


This is the Herald’s analysis of the report just out:


Questionnaire results: How Sidmouth residents have coped with lockdown

An online questionnaire has shown how Sidmouth residents are coping with the lockdown.

More than 180 people, both residents and businesses, responded to a set of questions over the course of a week in May.

The questionnaire, put together by the Vision Group for Sidmouth and the town council’s environment committee, asked how people felt about traffic and transport, shopping and delivery services, working from home and broadband during the current coronavirus shutdown – and how Sidmouth might recover.

More than 80 per cent said they liked ‘less traffic’.

Of those who answered, more than half said they had always walked and/or cycled, but a further quarter said they had been doing more during lockdown and almost the same number said they would be doing more once the lockdown was over.

Most people said they were managing to do their own shopping and about a quarter said they were getting deliveries from small local shops and there had been quite a lot of frustration over not being able to shop online.

In total, 80 per cent of respondents said they had been very impressed with local services being offered by the smaller shops and supermarkets.

Around half said they would make use of a newly formed local delivery service if it continued after lockdown.

Businesses said there had been enough interest in their services.

Although only half of the businesses which started offering delivery said they would be interested in offering the same after lockdown.

It was made clear that Sid Valley residents had been using Zoom and Skype for work as well as personal reasons, which had gone well although, under the strain, broadband was unreliable.

Residents also shared ideas for Sidmouth after lockdown.

These have included proposals for reducing traffic in the town, traffic-free days and specific delivery-times, encouraging people to ‘shop local’, wider pavements and cycle paths and more pedestrianisation and outdoor cafés.

There were also calls for more ‘boutique’ events, more tourist and heritage trails, improved broadband and a ‘thank you’ celebration once it is all over.

Visit to see all the answers from the questionnaire.

Questionnaire results: How Sidmouth residents have coped with lockdown |


As the Herald says, more information is available here on the VGS website:


Looking at the experiences of life under the Coronavirus

Now, more than at any other time perhaps, the Sid Valley is in real need of a vision to see it through the next months.

On 27th April 2020. the VGS, together with the Town Council’s Environment Committee, published an on-line survey to ask people how they are managing in the current situation – and whether there might be lessons to carry over into the future.

This is now closed, but you can still have a look at the VGS news page on the subject:

Covid-19 in Sidmouth: What’s your experience?

And if you’d like to look at the responses, please get in touch


Looking to the future after the Coronavirus

You can access a report on the findings of the questionnaire:

Draft report on How are things in Lockdown Questionnaire – final – 5may20

Plus the press release sent out on 5th May 2020.

These immediate responses should inform wherever and however we will need to go forward, as we feed into ideas and projects to help create a more resilient and sustainable Valley.

Learning from Lockdown


photo: vgs: m w-t