THE Mayor of Lyme Regis, Councillor Michaela Ellis, has advised Lyme Regis Town Council to forget about the Sidmouth Road park and ride and concentrate on other important issues in the town.
The council’s application for temporary planning permission to continue using the Sidmouth Road site as a park and ride this summer was turned down by East Devon District Council, having been opposed by Uplyme Parish Council, amid claims that Lyme had not provided the full information required.
East Devon District Council took the unusual step of issuing a press release about its decision so that its reasons for refusal were made clear to the public.
Councillor Ellis told last week’s meeting of the Town Management and Highways Committee: “I think we are at a point where we have done all we can. I would like to see us drop that and just concentrate our energies on everything else in the town and the Charmouth Road park and ride. It just makes sense to me.”
Councillor Jeff Scowen asked whether a start had been made on the proposed traffic survey the council had commissioned for £25,000 and what the timescale for this was.
Deputy town clerk Mark Green said it would take several months and the company carrying out the work, Hydrock, would need to do their work across the summer months.
Councillor Derek Hallett said the mayor was “100 per cent correct on this”.
He added: “We have got Bob McHardy’s parking field [Haye Lane]. He only started that because there was nothing happening at Sidmouth Road. He can take 240 cars, 100 more than Sidmouth Road. We don’t need it.”
Councillor Scowen commented: “I would agree what has been said about Sidmouth Road but I would certainly want to see signage from the west directing people there because they may only come once a year and will wonder what has happened to Sidmouth Road.”
Councillor Brian Larcombe said that legally they could use the Sidmouth Road park and ride for 28 days without permission, adding: “But I wouldn’t bother with the aggro.”
Committee chairman John Broom added: “Why would there be aggro? We would be doing it legally.
Councillor Larcombe: “It would kick off with Uplyme again if we do that.”
Councillor Cheryl Reynolds: “We are anyway.”
Councillor Larcombe suggested the council concentrate its efforts on Charmouth Road park and ride instead, which is now up and running.
With regards to the Sidmouth Road site, Councillor Ellis added: “My concern is that if officers are going to sit doing another report, taking time, what’s the point?”
Mr Green said one option was simply “to do nothing” until the council received the report from Hydrock.
Councillor Stan Williams said the council had decided weeks ago to put up a sign on the Devon side of town directing traffic to the Charmouth Road park and ride but it had never been done.
Mr Green said that the sign had been requested.