SAFETY signs will finally be introduced at Southend seafront’s shared space.

The Echo’s call for common sense has been answered as we can reveal Southend Council is preparing notices for the controversial section of Marine Parade.

The signs, the wording of which is yet to be finalised, will warn drivers to look out for people crossing the road. They are expected to be in place within the next few weeks.

However Tony Cox, the Tory councillor responsible for transport, insisted the move was certainly not a U-turn.

He said: “We have never said we will not introduce signs.

“Now we have listened to what people have said and taken this step.”

The shared space area has been mired in controversy since it was created as part of the council’s £7million City Beach project, which was completed in March.

The Echo launched a campaign for more safety measures to be introduced on the revamped road last month, after two children were struck by vehicles and injured there.

Opposition councillors, led by the council’s Liberal Democrat faction, and disability campaigners have also called for change.

The new signs, to be officially announced at tonight’s economic and environmental scrutiny committee, will be positioned at either end of the shared space.

The zone is officially defined as a 50-metre stretch at the junction with Hartington Road, in which the road blends into the pavement.

Lib Dem leader Graham Longley welcomed their introduction, but said the changes still did not go far enough.

He said: “Any signs which help to improve safety are a welcome addition.

“However, we are talking about a very small stretch of the seafront, and I think most people still believe the shared space encompasses the whole of the Golden Mile.

“That needs to be addressed next.”

Jill Allen-King, the secretary of the Southend branch of the Federation of the Blind, added: “It will be better, but it does not help pedestrians who cannot see where the road is.

“More needs to be done.”