Accident fears for Belshers

PUBLISHED: 15:01 26 December 2008 | UPDATED: 10:14 10 June 2010

In the Journal of December 11, two letters made a case for leaving traffic movements on Belshers Slipway as they are. I have to disagree with these views.

In the Journal of December 11, two letters made a case for leaving traffic movements on Belshers Slipway as they are.

I have to disagree with these views. We have lived in one of the modern homes overlooking Belshers Slipway for the past six years and enjoy seeing people using the beach to sail, walk, play and sunbathe. It is a big attraction in living here. Shelly Beach is very popular with families and small children who can paddle in the shallow waters.

We accept that public access to the slipway is part and parcel of living adjacent to the slipway. Dinghies and small boats, used by fishermen and for pleasure, have been trundled down the slipway for generations and we have no wish to see that stop. The sandy track down to the water is suitable for such use.

The problems arise with motorised four-wheel vehicles pulling trailers up and down the slipway. People living in a seaside community like Exmouth should be able to launch motor boats and jet skis, but the facility must be safe and not to the detriment of other water and beach users.

We have witnessed numerous vehicles accelerating fast up the slipway to avoid getting bogged down in sand. Those who get stuck are towed out by others with four-wheel drive vehicles. The dangers to pedestrians often get overlooked and there are often small children and elderly people in the immediate vicinity.

On busy weekends in the summer, up to 30 vehicles are parked on the beach, making it unpleasant for families who would like to picnic and allow toddlers to play safely.

Locals and visitors promenading around the quay walkways are typically unimpressed when looking down onto a beach car park. Where else in East Devon are vehicles permitted to regularly park in large numbers on a public beach? Ignoring the environmental issues, it is simply not safe or desirable. East Devon District Council need to urgently find a safe and suitable alternative launching facilities for motorised boats and jet skis.

We should not wait for a serious accident to occur before waking up to the need to return the use of Belshers Slipway to the traffic for which it is suited.

Paul Stanbridge,

Shelly Road, Exmouth.


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