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Strategies to open up Sidmouth: making people feel safe

  • by JW

“What we can do to make our town safer than anywhere else.”


Things are progressing to open up the Sid Valley – and in a thoughtful and considered way.


There’s a determination to help the town centre move forward:

Strategies to open up Sidmouth : social distancing


… to provide clean services in the town:

Strategies to open up Sidmouth: public services


… and to create more space for pedestrians and cyclists:

New cycle lanes and wider pavements: ‘pop-ups’ for Sidmouth


Further measures are being planned – as reported in the Herald:


Plans to make Sidmouth ‘the safest and the best’ place to visit when lockdown ends

Face masks and hand sanitisation could be compulsory for customers in all of Sidmouth’s shops, under plans to make the town ‘safer than anywhere else’ following the relaxation of coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

From June 1, non-essential shops are expected to reopen in phases, although hotels and restaurants will remain closed until July at the earliest.

Sidmouth Town Council has been in talks with local businesses, the Chamber of Commerce, the Vision Group and the county council to find the best way forward.

The chair of the town council, Ian Barlow, said: “We need the businesses back working, it’s very important that we have the extra money that the tourists bring in. We can’t change the fact that people are going to come, but we can look at what we can do to make our town safer than anywhere else. People have got to feel safe to come here, whether it’s on holiday, for a day trip, whatever it is, and our residents have also got to feel safe with them coming and welcome them in.”

Plans to make Sidmouth ‘the safest and the best’ place to visit when lockdown ends |


In Exeter, plans are already being considered to completely re-jig traffic in the centre:


Exeter could become car-free

Just days after Exeter’s Green Party called for road space to be reallocated to pedestrians and cyclists, the leader of the city council has said the central Exeter could be made car-free. The council’s signed up to plans to be a carbon-neutral city by 2030; an ambition that’s slipped back five years, and will be taking part in an online conference on Wednesday organised by Exeter City Futures, the hybrid public-private sector body driving the initiative (excuse the pun).

Exeter could become car-free |


It’s clear that tourist spots need to be planning to cope with visitors – with reports that National Parks are feeling the strain:


Dartmoor too busy

Car parks can’t handle social distancing

The sun comes out. Lockdown comes down a bit. Families head to Dartmoor. The very thing that the National Park Authority feared comes true. Its car parks are too busy to cope safely.

On Saturday, the ranger team took to social media to announce car parks in the Haytor, Postbridge and Newbridge area have too many vehicles to keep to social distancing guidelines. The Visit Dartmoor organisation say the village of Belstone “is swamped too. Absolute madness here.”

It comes just a day after chief constable Shaun Sawyer appealed to people to “think twice” about where they went for their excercise – and for people outside the region to stay away for a little while longer.

Dartmoor rangers have politely asked people to avoid the areas most affected.

Dartmoor too busy |