COUNTER terrorism safety measures will be installed on Southend’s seafronts.

The safety recommendations are in stark contrast to the previous and controversial practice of shared spaces.

The new safety measures will see a number of vehicle obstructions placed along the shared space area on Marine Parade to prevent vehicles from mounting the curb and causing harm to pedestrians.

Councillor Martin Terry, who oversees community safety, said the council was advised to introduce the counter terrorism measures as a response to the 2016 terror attack in Nice, France, which saw a cargo truck drive into a crown of people resulting in the death of 86 people.

He said: “It was something identified after the incident in Nice and God forbid something were to happen and we’d not listened. It is important to emphasise however that there is no imminent threat, this is just a precautionary measure.”

The shared space area around City Beach is another which allows pedestrians and vehicles to mix freely and was the subject of widespread safety concerns when it was introduced almost 10 years ago.

Veteran blind campaigner Jill Allen-King helped launch a campaign against the shared space in 2011 resulting in a 3,500-signature petition against it She said: “There is no doubt in my mind shared space areas pose a terrorist threat.

“They should never have done it as they pose a great danger to pedestrians who are just walking along, whether that’s from terrorists or any other vehicle.

“There is still concern in the town about these areas. There is nothing to stop anyone driving into crowds on City Beach, particularly at the fountains were so many children play.

“We called for proper kerbs and crossings. A substantial kerb might at least slow a vehicle down a bit.”

A spokesman for Southend Council said: “Officers are working to identify a suitable replacement town centre bollards system.

“We are also looking at other high footfall areas along the central seafront, such as City Beach and investigating what suitable measures may be needed to be designed and incorporated into this area too. As this is a popular tourist destination, any measures will need to be effective but also be appropriate and fit in with the design and feel of this area which has undergone significant regeneration and improvement.”