The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #152651   Message #3614019
Posted By: Steve in Sidmouth
31-Mar-14 - 12:49 PM
Thread Name: Sidmouth campsite to move?
Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
I recently drove up and down the Salcombe Hill route, 'pretending' to be a small bus. I concluded you could safely do 4 round trips per hour per bus but you might need to avoid buses meeting each other on the worst sections of the road. Turning around at the end of Millford Road is far from ideal even with a small minibus - bearing in mind the several roads that converge near this point and the number of private cars that may also be shuttling people to and from the campsite at busy periods. There might also be a conflict with the 'Alpha bus' if that sought to use the same turning area at peak times.

Steve Harris suggests a fleet of 20 buses - presumably so that several hundred people could be moved inside half an hour. This is an unrealistic expectation. More details on the webpages below.

When I drove festival minibuses down in Cornwall (ten years ago) it was all quite relaxed, but it was an easy route along 'normal' roads. You could much improve the projections knowing the actual figures for bus travel to Bulverton - but I am sure they are a secret! More people would use buses to the proposed Salcombe Hill site because of the much steeper road.

It would be an interesting exercise to utilise the Sidmouth Hopper this year to do a few trial runs, with lots of folkies as volunteers milling about along the route - and of course at night in the rain. The Sidmouth Hopper service only normally operates May to September and finishes at 5pm - so trips are always in daylight.

I'll put this forward as a research exercise! 200 volunteers are required: you all get to see the proposed new campsite and have tea and cakes provided by Town Councillors (not paid out of my Council Tax).

Seriously, everyone might learn from a few hours spent testing out the route under 'realistic' conditions.

I have tried to obtain from Devon County Council (DCC) a copy of the so-called Traffic Management Plan that was submitted at the last minute by John Radford's Event Services company on behalf of FolkWeek and used as the basis for DCC saying that they had no objections to use of the new proposed campsite when their (informal) input was used by EDDC's Licensing Sub-Committee in December 2013. DCC have refused to send a copy, so the matter will go to the Information Commissioner.

Devon County Council concede the draft TMP was inadequate. It is currently being reworked in consultation with 'locally interested parties' - presumably people in Salcombe Regis and thereabouts.

But no amount of reworking of the TMP can change the nature or potential dangers of using Salcombe Hill for a fleet of minibuses mingled with pedestrians. The correspondence can be viewed here:

emails to and from Devon County Council

I'll reproduce later the many (redacted) emails between John Radford and Devon County Council. These have been supplied by DCC under FoI.

I have heard nothing locally as yet about provision for substantial car parking near the proposed new camp site but will enquire.

An expanded version of this post and a couple of photos are on this webpage

Excerpts from mudcat discussions