Queen's Drive to be shut?

PUBLISHED: 02:01 23 June 2008 | UPDATED: 09:10 10 June 2010

A stretch of Exmouth's seafront could be shut 12 hours a day in the summer months under a new traffic plan. Seeking to clamp down on dangerous driving along the seafront, Devon County Council has acted on the recommendation of the Dangerous Driving Reduct

A stretch of Exmouth's seafront could be shut 12 hours a day in the summer months under a new traffic plan.Seeking to clamp down on dangerous driving along the seafront, Devon County Council has acted on the recommendation of the Dangerous Driving Reduction Action Group (DRAG) to propose the closure of Queen's Drive.The road - known both as a mecca for modified cars, and a relaxed parking spot for tourists - would be closed 7am to 7pm, April 1 to October 31.The traffic order proposes the road to be closed from the end of Foxholes car park to Orcombe Point, on the grounds of safety and disorder. A consultation will seek public views until July 3.Former town councillor Phillip Frewin-Smith said: "What would be the effect if access to [Exmouth's] prime attraction was to be somewhat curtailed?"Guidelines for the police and the courts have failed us and as a result Exmouth will have its first 'no-go' area.Exmouth police and members of the DRAG committee back the plan and admit enforcement against boy-racers has failed.Inspector Jez Capey, who said a driver-education initiative was rejected by local councils, said: "We have had a problem there for a decade or more. We have certainly tried enforcement but that has never cracked it."The DRAG recommendation intends to leave some room for parking on Queen's Drive, to assist tourists, dog walkers and visitors seeking to relax.Motorists, walkers and cyclists at Orcombe Point this week spoke out.Regular Exmouth holidaymaker Bryn Nathan, 49, of Sussex, said: "I think it is too drastic. The whole of the front should be open to all the people."Bank manager Chris Greenway, 49, of Bicton Place, cycles the seafront daily and said: "It is a difficult one to call. The beach is for the public's enjoyment but every day I ride my bike I signal to drivers to slow down. I think something has to be done, even if it was just on a trial basis."Nineteen-year-old Jason Hempstead and friends from Yeovil said: "We come down to park up, and it is a good place to chill out. "I have met with convoys of cars, and most people just sit and talk but some people do ruin it for others."Councillors have requested a preference for any closure to be taken on a discretionary basis - allowing access on other evenings.Anyone wishing to take part in the consultation can register views online at www.devon.gov.uk or write to Roger Gash, County Solicitor, Devon County Hall, Exeter EX2 4QD.

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