Letter in the Sidmouth Herald, 8 November 2013 concerning FolkWeek's proposed new campsite: issues of transport, danger to pedestrians and sound levels in the dance marquee.

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Early publicity from 'latest news' on the folkweek website stated there would be 'easy access to and from the town using dedicated transport'.

The key factors in determining the likely success of the new campsite were discussed at length on a 'mudcat'  internet forum - the new site is smaller in total land area than the Bulverton and the most direct route for access is up a very steep and narrow hill that is unsuited to either buses or caravans. Nevertheless, it has some good points!

As of November 2013 - details are awaited! No local consultation has been undertaken as far as I am aware, except within the closed coterie of local councillors and local government officials.

Mrs Brewster’s letter concerning the folk festival’s proposed relocation to Salcombe Hill is flawed (“Don’t spoil AONB”, Opinion, November 1).

The town council may make a little money – unless of course the field is given for free, together with the 25,000 per year of the current subsidy. It will not encourage similar uses during the year – witness the Bulverton fields over decades.

However Salcombe Hill is far more dangerous than the Bulverton road and in the old days when a small minibus went up and down the hill I have seen it described as the “best white knuckle ride ever”. If the proposed relocation is permitted, the number of walkers will increase markedly irrespective of how good is any minibus service.

Is the Sidmouth Hopper to be pressed into service – another gift from the town? You would need a fleet of them to cope with the peak demand!

As for late-night disruption, Sidmouth residents could do much to help genuine folk dancers by complaining about excessive sound levels. Use of earplugs has become commonplace. All that is required is simply to turn it down – as was ordered recently at Towersey festival. So it can be done!

Speaking as someone who dances for around 60 to 70 hours during FolkWeek, please do complain (and loudly)!

Finally, alcohol sales at the Bulverton increased by 32 per cent last year, and whilst this was good news for the Anchor Pub who run the concession there, we need to bear in mind that the drunken behaviour of some dancers resulted in near injury.

The best ceilidh dancing is to be found at venues where there is no alcohol - in university buildings full of youngsters.

So, again, it can be done!

Dr Stephen J Wozniak,  Sidford, Sidmouth

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