Increased support from Seaton traders for car trial in town centre

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SEATON town centre traders’ support for opening up ped- estrianised areas to cars on a trial basis has increased.

Seaton Town Council has decided to formally ask Devon Cou- nty Council if such a move is possible, but has also stressed that no decision will be made without public consultation.

The proposed trial period is part of a town council initiative to bring more life to the town centre to boost trade.

The council is gauging interest among traders by asking those operating in Queen Street, Fore Street and Cross Street.

During the October meeting of the council, Councillor Heat- her Sanham reported that 16 were in favo- ur, six against and one neutral – with a number of traders left to ask.

During the November meeting Cllr Sanham presented updat- ed figures, with 27 in favour, six against and four neutral, with some left to ask.

She said it was difficult to get hold of all business owners and that staff was sometimes reluctant to speak on behalf of the owner.

But, in view of the responses, she proposed the town council should ask Devon County Council (under whose remit such a move would come) if it is feasible to open up the pedestrianised areas.

The feasibility could depend on the condition of the streets and what cost is involved.

Cllr Peter Burrows appeared sceptical and said (that since the October report and subsequent article in Pulman’s View): “A lot of people have asked me ‘what is happening with the town centre?”

Cllr Marcus Hartnell said: “It is important to consult with members of the public as well before a final decision is made.

“We must get this right.”

Cllr Sanham agreed and said the point was to find out about feasibility first as there was no point consulting the public if the project was deemed not feasible in the first place.

Councillors voted to approach Devon County Council.

It was not a unanimous vote. Cllr Burrows voted against and Cllr Martin Shaw abstained.

Chief Reporter | Started his working life on a farm before becoming a screen printer, both in Sweden. Had another career change and turned to journalism in the mid1990s. Enjoyed an internship with Alexandria Gazette Packet, Va, USA, before moving to the UK. Got a job with The Clarion in Yeovil in 1998, but moved to Axminster in 2006 and has worked on the East Devon beat since.

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