Residents object to Westcliff rat run parking restrictions plan

Plans to introduce parking restrictions in one of the worst rat-runs in Southend could be halted.

Restrictions have been proposed twice for Crosby Road in Westcliff since 2019 to prevent traffic building up at peak times, which often leads to long tailbacks for motorists travelling to and from Chalkwell Avenue.

Both attempts failed following complaints that procedures hadn’t been properly followed and fears that lessening parking could make speeding a bigger issue.

Southend Council is introducing a raft of road safety improvements across the borough but vowed not to introduce them if a majority of residents objected.

Three out of five residents who responded to a consultation to restrict parking in Crosby Road, Westcliff, feared it would make it easier for motorists to go faster than ever.

Ron Woodley, councillor responsible for transport said: “I’m very supportive of councillors in Chalkwell ward.

“We went down there and could see there was a big problem with vehicles queueing down to Chalkwell Avenue because of the parking.

“We could have a two hour waiting restriction so this problem doesn’t get created and people can drive down there safely.

“It is not safe at the moment, Chicaned yellow lines would prevent speeding, but we will see what members want to do.”

The road is often gridlocked and the council believed installing staggered yellow lines on each side of the road to form a chicane would improve flow but still prevent speeding, so further surveys were ordered.

In 2018 a survey showed more than 50 per cent of motorists exceeded the speed limit on the road, which was estimated to be in the top ten worst roads in the borough for speeding.

Ward councillors have nevertheless supported the parking restrictions to combat congestion.

However, the recent “snapshot survey” by council officers found no excessive parking, despite more people working from home, and concluded reducing it further could increase speeding.

Consequently they have recommended halting any further work on the proposals or alternatively carrying out further in-depth surveys.

The cabinet committee will debate the scheme next week but

The traffic regulations working party and cabinet committee will meet on Tuesday.

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Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter