Hundreds demand speed calming on Southend seafront

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Councillors have said something urgently needs to be done about cars speeding along the Southend seafront after hundreds signed a petition calling for new safety measures.

Southend councillor Martin Terry, who oversees public safety, said zebra crossings and speed cameras are needed along Eastern Esplanade to combat the growing number of joy riders and speeding motorists who are putting lives at risk.

His comments come after a petition was submitted to the council calling for speed calming measures to be introduced on the seafront, between Lifstan Way and Burdett Road.

Mr Terry said: “We have people crossing the road along the seafront to access the restaurants and bus stops which are shore side. We have seen there is a risk here that needs to be addressed.

“There is a lot of inappropriate driving and this area needs to be made safe. Not only do we have people driving too fast but also joy riders using it as a racetrack.

“First we need to make it safe for people to cross, then we may need to consider speed cameras or some other form of speed reduction.”

Councillor Ron Woodley, deputy leader of the council, said that the petition had received around 700 signatures.

He said: “The main thing is we need zebra crossings along here and the petition asks for some extra measures like speed cameras. We need to put these in to stop, if we can, the people who are driving like maniacs.

“It seems a shame that we have to spend millions on these things for the few people who are not obeying the highway code. People are saying enough is enough and we want to be able to cross from one side to the other safely, we don’t want speeding cars going down there.”

Between the junctions to Lifstan Way and Burdett Road it is a 30mph zone but just one zebra crossing, despite there being several bus stops on the shore side, as well as a number of restaurants.

Donna Harrison, manager of Dog and Co on Eastern Esplanade, said: “Something needs to be done as it is so dangerous and there has been a lot of accidents. It is particularly bad when pulling out of junctions.

“Speeding is the biggest issue especially in the summer when it can get really busy. There are almost no zebra crossings, I think there may only be two along the whole stretch of road.

“We need cameras and more crossings.”

Alvaro Teixteira, staff member at The Friary, said: “I really agree with this, particularly as we get a lot of youngsters and older residents crossing the road on Saturday afternoons. You do see a lot of cars driving down here who will really push it, if they could be more careful that would be good.”

The petition will be handed to the council at a meeting on Thursday.

Steve Shaw

Local Democracy Reporter

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