SPEED cameras and crossings could be installed along Southend seafront to stop speeding motorists and joyriders risking lives.

Hundreds of people have signed a petition calling for changes.

Councillor Martin Terry, cabinet member for public safety at Southend Council, is backing the calls for cameras and crossings along Eastern Esplanade.

He said: “We have people crossing the road along the seafront to access the restaurants and bus stops which are shore side. We have seen there is a risk here that needs to be addressed.

“There is a lot of inappropriate driving and this area needs to be made safe. Not only do we have people driving too fast but also joy riders using it as a racetrack.

“First we need to make it safe for people to cross, then we may need to consider speed cameras or some other form of speed reduction.”

His comments come after a petition was submitted to the council calling for speed calming measures to be introduced on the seafront, between Lifstan Way and Burdett Road.

Councillor Ron Woodley, deputy leader of the council, said the petition has 700 signatures.

“The main thing is we need zebra crossings along here and the petition asks for some extra measures like speed cameras,” he said.

“We need to put these in to stop people who are driving like maniacs.”

Donna Harrison, manager of Dog and Co on Eastern Esplanade, said: “It is so dangerous and there have been a lot of accidents. It is particularly bad when pulling out of junctions.

“Speeding is the biggest issue especially in the summer when it can get really busy. We need cameras and more crossings.”

Alvaro Teixteira, staff member at The Friary, said: “I really agree with this, particularly as we get a lot of youngsters and older residents crossing the road.”

The petition will be discussed at a council meeting on Thursday.