Seeing a ‘car free’ town centre as a real positive

“A cultural renaissance and an urban transformation, taking in pedestrianisation, extension of cycle lanes, recovery of historical and natural heritage, rehabilitation of buildings and public spaces, and an increase in green areas and pedestrian walkways.”

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Do we want to pedestrianise more of Sidmouth?

Plans to pedestrianise Sidmouth town centre put forward | Sidmouth Herald

The Spanish town of Pontevedra has done so:

A metro-style map of Pontevedra shows typical walking times

‘For me, this is paradise’: life in the Spanish city that banned cars | Cities | The Guardian

As for accessibility for the elderly and not-so-abled, this works very well:

“ Since 1999 Pontevedra has seen intense urban renewal and cultural revival, positively influencing the local economy. In the 21st century the city of Pontevedra has undergone both a cultural renaissance and an urban transformation, taking in the pedestrianisation of the city centre, extension of cycle lanes, recovery of the historical and natural heritage, rehabilitation of buildings and public spaces, and an increase in green areas and pedestrian walkways. Unlike the other six large cities of Galicia, which have lost inhabitants to neighboring municipalities, Pontevedra’s population is currently increasing.

It has become one of the most accessible cities for disabled people, receiving a national prize for this in 2006, along with the European “Intermodes” award in 2013, the UN Habitat Award in 2014 and the Award of the Center of Active Design in New York in 2015. Pontevedra’s model for responsible mobility is currently seen as an international reference

Planty of the Hamchuks — ‘For me, this is paradise’: life in the Spanish…

Anarchist Meme Collective — ‘For me, this is paradise’: life in the Spanish…

Meanwhile in Sidmouth, there have been major roadworks going on:

A375 work sees Sidmouth stretches closed over THREE-MONTHS | Sidmouth Herald

There are reports that some Sidmouth residents – rather than a) driving a bit of a detour to get into town, or b) walking/cycling into town – prefer to take their car to Hontion.

The question is, then, how can people overcome a slight inconvenience for the opportunity to saunter freely along car-free streets?

If we had more services and facilities within an easy walk:

The 15-minute neighbourhood: valuing our places on foot – Vision Group for Sidmouth

15-minute neighbourhoods for Sidmouth – Vision Group for Sidmouth

Then people might see ‘car free’ as a real positive:

Street café culture for Sidmouth? – Vision Group for Sidmouth

Street café culture for Sidmouth? part two – Vision Group for Sidmouth

   
© Vision Group for Sidmouth 2005-2022