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Southend traffic island returns
3:10pm Wednesday 6th March 2013 in News
A TRAFFIC island Southend Council scrapped only four years ago is being reinstated at a cost of £50,000.
The island, on the junction of Shorefield Road and the Western Esplanade, is to be returned after fears grew for the safety of pedestrians crossing the busy junction.
But some are concerned that Southend Council is “throwing money” at a self-made problem. The traffic island was taken away in 2009 to make way for a cycle path along the sea front.
Trevor Bell, 67, who lives near the junction, said: “I could never understand why the council took it away in the first place. Cars drive over the reservation and right into oncoming traffic. It’s an accident waiting to happen.”
Suzi Hawkins, chairwoman of South Westcliff Community Group believes there are better ways to tackle the problem. She said: “The council should get down there and watch it [cars crossing the island section] as opposed to just putting the bollards in. They need to look at it, not just throw money at it."
The Echo understands funding for the island will come from a sum the council was allocated from central government for integrated transport schemes and needs to be spent on safety improvement works.
Southend Council’s Zulfiqar Ali, responsible for highways said: “The proposed changes, which include realigning the kerbs and installation of a new pedestrian island, are designed to improve road safety and enable safer turning movements for traffic, reducing conflict between pedestrians and vehicles.”
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