A SCHEME to improve a large stretch of London Road will be just part of a £7million masterplan to entice visitors to Southend town centre.

The first phase of the plan - named Southend Central Area Transport scheme - saw three junctions in Victoria Avenue improved and was completed in the spring.

The next phases of the project will now focus on improving the section of London Road from College Way to Victoria Circus in 2018/19, and then improving the Victoria Circus public area itself in 2019/2020.

The council says it wants to “create a visual connection with the town centre and gradually increase in drama and visual impact as the town centre is approached.”

They will complement a multi-million pound scheme to rebuild the Queensway area of the town, which includes demolishing the long-standing town centre tower blocks.

Ann Holland, deputy leader of the council, said: “This will make the town more welcoming and more accessible. We don’t want to have a lovely regeneration area then find we are struggling to get around it. We’re working with our partners and cabinet on a consultation for the best scheme.”

Mrs Holland believes it will be great for the town, especially when the tower blocks come down.

She added: “I’m trying to keep all the residents on board all the way through as there is nothing worse than not knowing what’s going on.”

The transport scheme aims to use transport and town centre public areas to help boost housing and employment growth in the town centre.

If rubber-stamped by the council detailed designs will be drawn up. to reflect the council’s aim to make Southend town centre attractive for businesses and shoppers and turn it into a “cultural hub, educational centre of excellence, leisure and tourist attractive, and as a place to work and live..” The council also wants to encourage more people to walk and cycle in the town centre.