Our seaside town used to be lovely – now it's falling apart, they should flatten it and build a car park | The Sun

LOCALS say their seaside town used to be lovely but now it’s falling apart and should be flattened to build a car park.

People living in Paignton, Devon, think the town is no long safe and traders have walkie talkies to warn others about incidents or “dodgy people”.

One resident, who has lived in the town for around 50 years said she no longer felt safe and was selling up in the near future.

Others thought Paignton had changed dramatically over the years, with the town overall looking “run down”.

Mr Hassan, who owns Hyde Park Café told Devon Live: "It is neglected up this end of town. I've been here for around 20 years now and we have a good regular trade but tourists wise, it doesn't bring them up here.

“I think they should turn Crossways into a car park. Flatten it down and turn it into a car park because every holidaymaker that comes to this town comes down this road, whether that's from Totnes or Torquay. Turn it into a car park and be done with it.

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"Shutting Torbay Road is a nightmare. Why not let motorists go straight down? And I don't know what that red and blue road is all about, or what it's supposed to be."

He added: "It's just all a nightmare."

Christy Farah, a landlady of a guesthouse on the seafront, though said people needed to “stop moaning” about the changes.

She said: "Paignton is no better or worse than any other seaside town. People talk about drugs and say all sorts about the town, but all the seaside towns are the same, like Torquay, all the way up to Essex.

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"So I think people just moan for the sake of it, they can't expect things to be the same like they were 40 years ago. It moves on whether it's in a good or a bad way. I like Paignton though, it is what it is and it's what you make it.”

Although she did say the new blue look to the town’s ‘golden mile’ was “weird” and pedestrianising the street was a “nuisance”.

A shop assistant, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she had lived in the town all her life and had noticed a rise in anti-social behaviour and thought Paignton hadn’t changed for the better over the years.

She said: "As soon as they pedestrianise everything, I think shops will start to close down. The local council have put up the fees for parking metres which hasn't helped, we are one of the most expensive places to park in Devon.

"Other places in Devon have cheaper parking than us and people begrudge it. I think as soon as you start pedestrianising everything, people stop coming.”

She added that Torbay Road had been shut in September and was closed throughout the winter and then in the summer the council had “messed around” with it again, with the shop assistant saying they couldn’t make up their minds with what to do with it.


The assistant also described the Golden Mile as being “awful” and “dreadful” and thought they could have given it more of a seaside theme.

She called for it to be pedestrianised in the summer but revert back in the winter so locals can get to the shops.

The woman also pointed to a rise in homelessness and thieving and anti-social behaviour but a lot of the shops were now linked together with walkie-talkies so they could let each other know if there were any “dodgy” people walking around.

Jonathan Hawkins who owns two shops on Torbay Road, described the new paint job as a “joke” and also wants the pedestrianisation of the road to only operate in the summer as he feared for the future of his businesses if cars were permanently stopped.

While he said the council had “listened a bit” he thought they hadn’t done enough.


He said: "Paignton looks really run down. A lot of my customers say that Torbay Road it's not what it was, and it looks really run down and derelict.

"The planters are hideous. If they worked with the shops it could have looked nicer, but they didn't. What will kill off the tourism is that the town looks derelict and run down.


"It isn't nice, it isn't safe and people don't feel safe. I know people won't go into the multi-storey carpark around the back because of the smell of drugs and urine. It's unkept and unpleasant."

Marina Hackett has lived in the town since 1972 but said she was moving away in the near future because she no long left safe due to the anti-social behaviour.

She said that she has always used a path that runs near the railway but while she used to use it at all times of day and night, now she doesn’t walk along it after 7pm because of the homeless people.

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Marina said the town had lost its “class”.

The Sun Online has contacted Torbay Council for comment.

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