Money earmarked for 20mph speed limits in Thorpe Bay to instead be used on Southend’s unsafe roads

Money set aside to introduce a 20mph speed limit in Thorpe Bay will instead be used on unsafe roads across Southend.

Residents had rallied against speed humps and a reduction of the speed limit in Thorpe ward following a public consultation.

Respondents said there was little need to take such drastic action on the mostly quiet roads in the ward.

While the controversial £400,000 scheme was ditched some roads in the ward are still a cause for concern.

Southend Council has said these and other problem roads across the borough will now share the cash.

Speaking at a meeting of the place scrutiny committee on Monday, Steven Wakefield, councillor responsible for highways, transport and parking said: “We want to draw a line under this and move forward to address the real problems across the whole town where there is speeding and use this money wisely across the whole town but it has to come down to the data. We have to do the speed data on every individual road and the safety issues in that road before we implement anything.

“I would like to address some roads in Thorpe which came out of the consultation and where people were really worried about it. Burges Road we know is a challenge. That will need to be done. We need to move forward so we can deal with roads like Burges Road and other roads in the area where people actually want something done.

“There are roads across the whole city that are getting week by week councillors pleading to do speeding measures, not just in my ward but in every ward and we need to deal with them correctly by speed data. This money can be spread across the whole of Southend.”

Kevin Buck, Conservative councillor for Prittlewell Ward, said: “Common sense is what happened here. To reduce accidents in any area you need to have them. If you are not having accidents, it doesn’t matter how much money you throw at it, you are not going to improve the safety record. There weree no personal injury accidents in Thorpe Bay in the last five years in Thorpe Bay and there was very little evidence that Thorpe Bay had any issues with accidents or speeding.”

A report on the outcome of the consultation was noted by the committee.

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Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter