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Increased road safety as Southend declares ‘twenty is plenty’ with further funding for healthier, greener travel

January 8, 2022 11:32 AM

20 miles per hour speed limit signSafer, greener roads are set to be trialled in two areas across the Borough as the council looks to keep residents safe, tackle speeding and reduce vehicle emissions.

Reducing speed limits to 20mph in residential streets has a number of positive impacts, including increased safety for local residents, and can reduce vehicle emissions.

The proposals for 20mph pilot areas follow detailed discussions with local ward Councillors and vehicle speed surveys carried out in the Thorpe, Leigh and West Leigh wards which identified a high percentage of vehicles speeding in these areas.

Roads included in the proposals are:

Thorpe ward:

  • Area bounded by Thorpe Hall Avenue, Thorpe Bay Gardens, Maplin Way and Station Road
  • Shaftesbury Avenue, Kensington Avenue and Northumberland Crescent
  • Burges Road, Colbert Avenue and Wyatts Drive

As there is underlying historical issue of speeding on these roads, it is felt that only physical measures will have an impact on reducing speeding, so a range of measures will be introduced including raised tables, speed humps, speed cushions and kerb line build-outs.

Leigh/West Leigh wards:

  • Salisbury Road
  • Southsea Avenue (north and south of Glendale Gardens)
  • Lymington Avenue (north and south of Glendale Gardens)
  • Leighville Grove
  • Grange Road

The following roads already have 20mph limits and signage in place, with extra features proposed:

  • Percy Road
  • Westcliff Drive
  • Westleigh Avenue
  • Marine Avenue
  • Fairleigh Drive
  • Ronald Hill Grove

The proposals across these areas include a variety of measures, including 20mph speed limit signs, '20 is plenty' road markings and banners, raised speed tables at some road entry points and junctions.

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School Street barrier and signIn addition, healthier, greener travel is on the cards, with vast improvements to the Borough's cycling network and initiatives to encourage walking and cycling for residents and visitors to be discussed by cabinet.

Four schemes are proposed and would be funded through the £741,600 Department for Transport tranche 2 'Active Travel Fund', building on the impressive work carried out with the tranche 1 funding that saw a number of School Streets created.

Under the plans, Prittlebrook Greenway would see new, energy-efficient LED lights installed along the entire length of the well-used route, providing increased safety and visibility, increasing the hours that the route can be safely used and reduce the likelihood of anti-social behaviour in the area.

It is also proposed that the Borough's cycle network is reviewed, pinpointing any barriers to 'active travel' and with the aim of increasing healthier travel with residents. This will include a comprehensive review of how best to utilise the A13 (London Road) for walking and cycling, given the fact it is a main route through the Borough. This review would identify any missing links in the cycle network and lead to an investment and action plan being drawn up to deal with these.

There are also plans to install electric bike charging stations at key sites, additional secure bike storage units and repair stations across the Borough, with 'green' roofs to help boost air quality and increase naturalisation in the Borough.

The popular School Streets campaign would also be extended to a further six schools. Four schools formed part of the first phase of the project, and following the positive feedback from schools, pupils, staff, parents and local residents, the council will be seeking to create new School Streets at six more schools to improve road safety in and around schools, and also improve air quality.

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