Greener theme for Victoria gateway’s revamp: Trees, benches, tactile paving and clear route to Southend High Street

Echo: All change – councillor Martin Terry in Victoria Gateway All change – councillor Martin Terry in Victoria Gateway

WORKMEN have begun replanting trees at Victoria Gateway in a bid to attract more people to the public space.

Trees, green areas and new seating will be added to the large, open space, outside Southend Victoria Station, to encourage people to gather and make access to the High Street clearer.

Mature trees were removed from Victoria Circus roundabout in a multi-million pound revamp of the key junction in 2011.

Contractors have now begun digging trenches ready for the new greenery.

Martin Terry, Southend councillor responsible for transport, said: “I am very pleased this work is going to take place, which will make a big improvement to what is an important entrance into the town.

“We know there has been much debate about this area since it was created, so the council has reviewed what is there and listened to local people.

“The plans that have been created follow numerous comments, feedback and widespread public involvement.

“This work will create a much friendlier and safer public space, bringing some new greenery and a community garden into the heart of Southend, along with tactile paving.

“This exciting development is about creating more accessible, better streets and places for people to enjoy in Southend and I look forward to seeing the work completed.”

New lighting will also be installed and access to and from the High Street will be more defined.

Community events will be held on the plaza.

A ninth-month review of Victoria Gateway by John Dales, from consultancy Urban Movement, concluded trees, seating and lighting could be added to the open space to give it “sense of place”.

It also called for a “bolder public art installation” than the statue “the Return”, which has failed to attract people to the area.

Mr Dales suggested skateboarders could be encouraged, rather than seen as a menace, or other activities, such as table tennis, be added to the area.

Hundreds of residents put forward ideas for improvements, including community events and workshops as part of the council’s “pocket places” project.

Work on the project is due to be completed by the end of September.

Echo: Artist impression of how Victoria Gateway could look

Plant your own veg in a pocket park

RESIDENTS will be able to grow flowers, fruit and vegetables in a new town centre park.

Southend Council is building a new “pocket park” at the junction of Queensway and Boston Avenue, in the town.

The slip road which allows traffic leaving Boston Avenue to join Queensway will be removed
to make space for the park and the existing entrance to Boston Avenue will be made two-way.

Paving will be created around the existing trees and the pavement will be moved away from the wall outside Alexandra Court to create more space around the trees and prevent future damage from roots.

A spokesman for Southend Council said: “At the Boston Avenue junction with Queensway a ‘pocket place’ will be created for the community to enjoy, with activities for children and landscaped areas for local residents to grow flowers and fruit and vegetables.

“Connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists will also be improved.

“There will be some minor changes to the road layout at Boston Avenue, but access to and from Queensway will be maintained at all times.”

For more details, visit http://tinyurl.com/n2g59ed/

Comments (15)

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8:12am Fri 27 Jun 14

VeteranOfMany says...

Why not make the design round, cover it with grass and shrubs, and call it a roundabout. ?
Why not make the design round, cover it with grass and shrubs, and call it a roundabout. ? VeteranOfMany
  • Score: 32

8:36am Fri 27 Jun 14

Who_Flung_Dung says...

The council want more people to use the shared space??
So they want people just to loiter??

Leave the skaters there, at least it keeps them out of the high street!!
The council want more people to use the shared space?? So they want people just to loiter?? Leave the skaters there, at least it keeps them out of the high street!! Who_Flung_Dung
  • Score: 10

8:37am Fri 27 Jun 14

Sensible Man says...

Well said!!! This concrete mess is a total disaster - bring back the original roundabout wih the trees and plants - it was like an oasis in a sea of horrible concrete. And I doubt that the traffic flow was any worse than it is now.
Well said!!! This concrete mess is a total disaster - bring back the original roundabout wih the trees and plants - it was like an oasis in a sea of horrible concrete. And I doubt that the traffic flow was any worse than it is now. Sensible Man
  • Score: 17

8:51am Fri 27 Jun 14

ddf35 says...

I wish the Council would grow up and admit they got it totally wrong with this development. They said it was going to improve peoples 'sight' to the town centre and if they're working now to improve it, that means the original plan did not. They've also made changes to the lane discipline, meaning that didn't work either. For me personally, whereas on various journeys i could go round the roundabout to go home, now i have to make a massive detour up victoria avenue (i'd rather avoid adding traffic along this road, but now have no choice) , it affects access from various directions to short street, which im sure inconvenices shoppers, royal mail visitors and ambluances!

And as to adding more green spaces - i seem to remember it was pretty bloody green before! What a shambles.
I wish the Council would grow up and admit they got it totally wrong with this development. They said it was going to improve peoples 'sight' to the town centre and if they're working now to improve it, that means the original plan did not. They've also made changes to the lane discipline, meaning that didn't work either. For me personally, whereas on various journeys i could go round the roundabout to go home, now i have to make a massive detour up victoria avenue (i'd rather avoid adding traffic along this road, but now have no choice) , it affects access from various directions to short street, which im sure inconvenices shoppers, royal mail visitors and ambluances! And as to adding more green spaces - i seem to remember it was pretty bloody green before! What a shambles. ddf35
  • Score: 20

8:57am Fri 27 Jun 14

SARFENDMAN says...

All a cunning plan Baldrick. Let the trees grow magnificent so they can be all cut down again when the devise another "great idea" to ruin the area even more.
All a cunning plan Baldrick. Let the trees grow magnificent so they can be all cut down again when the devise another "great idea" to ruin the area even more. SARFENDMAN
  • Score: 9

8:58am Fri 27 Jun 14

AuldGit says...

The only thing that will improve peoples 'sight' to the town centre is fitting them with blinkers as they drive up Victoria Avenue so that they can't see the eyesore of derelict office buildings with broken windows and covered in graffiti. They say you can't polish a t#rd, but you can always roll it in glitter.
The only thing that will improve peoples 'sight' to the town centre is fitting them with blinkers as they drive up Victoria Avenue so that they can't see the eyesore of derelict office buildings with broken windows and covered in graffiti. They say you can't polish a t#rd, but you can always roll it in glitter. AuldGit
  • Score: 9

9:04am Fri 27 Jun 14

Sensible Man says...

Very true about the Victoria Avenue "office" eyesores. If they pulled all those down they could build enough apartment blocks to cover Southend's housing needs for years and years to come. AND save building on the green belt.
Very true about the Victoria Avenue "office" eyesores. If they pulled all those down they could build enough apartment blocks to cover Southend's housing needs for years and years to come. AND save building on the green belt. Sensible Man
  • Score: 6

11:42am Fri 27 Jun 14

Nowthatsworthknowing says...

Who_Flung_Dung wrote:
The council want more people to use the shared space??
So they want people just to loiter??

Leave the skaters there, at least it keeps them out of the high street!!
They need to begin putting in the ridged tiles, to thwart skateboard grunge heads from the area, tends to bring the area down a tad.
[quote][p][bold]Who_Flung_Dung[/bold] wrote: The council want more people to use the shared space?? So they want people just to loiter?? Leave the skaters there, at least it keeps them out of the high street!![/p][/quote]They need to begin putting in the ridged tiles, to thwart skateboard grunge heads from the area, tends to bring the area down a tad. Nowthatsworthknowing
  • Score: -8

11:47am Fri 27 Jun 14

stuartpb says...

Southend Council you are mad. Please don't insult your long suffering residents by saying that you have listened to their views.

Closing a road to make a vegetable patch is entirely your own ridiculous idea.
Southend Council you are mad. Please don't insult your long suffering residents by saying that you have listened to their views. Closing a road to make a vegetable patch is entirely your own ridiculous idea. stuartpb
  • Score: 21

12:48pm Fri 27 Jun 14

Nelly99 says...

Strange to get such a consensus of the same opinion on this story. SBC, admit you made a mistake! It not only looks horrible now but it doesn't work. Take away the traffic lights and put the roundabout back and next time you are offered a grant to waste on something we don't want or need, just say NO!
Strange to get such a consensus of the same opinion on this story. SBC, admit you made a mistake! It not only looks horrible now but it doesn't work. Take away the traffic lights and put the roundabout back and next time you are offered a grant to waste on something we don't want or need, just say NO! Nelly99
  • Score: 23

12:50pm Fri 27 Jun 14

ddf35 says...

stuartpb wrote:
Southend Council you are mad. Please don't insult your long suffering residents by saying that you have listened to their views.

Closing a road to make a vegetable patch is entirely your own ridiculous idea.
yes quite right, the green area near Baxter avenue is already there, so hardly anything new. and why didn't they listen to our views before - those views being "dont do the victoria gateway project"

its just horrid.
[quote][p][bold]stuartpb[/bold] wrote: Southend Council you are mad. Please don't insult your long suffering residents by saying that you have listened to their views. Closing a road to make a vegetable patch is entirely your own ridiculous idea.[/p][/quote]yes quite right, the green area near Baxter avenue is already there, so hardly anything new. and why didn't they listen to our views before - those views being "dont do the victoria gateway project" its just horrid. ddf35
  • Score: 20

12:51pm Fri 27 Jun 14

ddf35 says...

And how much did a 9 month consult from Urban Movement cost? most of us told you for free that removing the trees& changing this area was not what we wanted.
And how much did a 9 month consult from Urban Movement cost? most of us told you for free that removing the trees& changing this area was not what we wanted. ddf35
  • Score: 19

12:55pm Fri 27 Jun 14

jayman says...

Anna waite's legacy to the town. Bloody awful.
Anna waite's legacy to the town. Bloody awful. jayman
  • Score: 23

12:56pm Fri 27 Jun 14

jayman says...

I'm glad its now getting sorted with what little money the Tories left.
I'm glad its now getting sorted with what little money the Tories left. jayman
  • Score: 13

2:16pm Fri 27 Jun 14

Maddogg says...

Table tennis? What idiot would want to play table tennis there? Dig the whole thing up, put it back as the roundabout that used to work so well.
Table tennis? What idiot would want to play table tennis there? Dig the whole thing up, put it back as the roundabout that used to work so well. Maddogg
  • Score: 22
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