Letter to Council's Technical Services Dept from:
Doris Banning (PPPS Membership Secretary)

236 Priory Crescent
5th December 2001

The Director of Technical and Environmental Services
Southend on Sea Borough Council
Civic Centre
Victoria Avenue

Dear Sir

Re: Priory Crescent

I have now read the current issue of Civic News, which gives details of the proposals of road alterations to Priory Crescent and wish to comment as follows.

  1. Environmental: You fail to answer the question of exactly how many trees will be lost to this plan. I feel the reason you are failing to state how many trees will be lost is because the number is in excess of 100. In addition to the trees along the road, there are at least a further 15 mature trees which are along the boundary and would have to be felled. The large horse chestnuts within the park would overhang the road and have to be cut back. As we are all aware, the roots of many of the trees within the park are under the pavement and any road development would damage them.
  2. You state that there is potential to improve environment in Priory Crescent South. What about Priory Crescent North? Although the council has received requests for pollution monitoring along this section of road, none has been forthcoming. Why? The council plans are to destroy in excess of 100 trees yet no consideration has been given to increased pollution. With traffic lights installed at Cuckoo Corner, there will most certainly be at least two westbound lanes of stationary traffic. I would like to request that pollution monitoring takes place. It is the proposal to bring the traffic nearer to the properties along this section of road yet no consideration, contact, or dialogue has taken place by any council member, with the residents affected. Obviously Southend Council do not feel human rights exist.
  3. The council is unable to say that journey times will improve. What on earth is the point then of making a dual carriageway? All it will do it move the traffic along a bit further for it to sit at traffic lights. So far no mention has been made of improvements to the Bell junction. With four way lights this is a major bottleneck. In the morning the traffic can trail back to Tesco's roundabout and in the evenings back down Victoria Avenue. This alone causes problems at Cuckoo Corner. Surely if the traffic was filtered before it got to the Bell, this would ease the congestion at this junction. It seems that all traffic is pushed towards central Southend before it goes out again to Westcliff and Leigh. Maybe traffic lights will work at Cuckoo Corner, but I remember the traffic lights at Sutton Road and that was sheer chaos.
  4. By putting the footpath and possible cyclepath on the south side of Priory Crescent within the park, you are in fact taking part of the park. There have then, been many false statements issued by council members with the Leader of the Council, Charles Latham yet again saying in the Civic News that no park land will be lost. I see this as a prelude to moving the boundary of the park at a later date so that this pathway will in fact be outside the park. By placing a pathway within the park, this would probably affect the football pitches and cricket pitch. What happens when the park is closed? Very little consideration appears to have been given to pedestrians and cyclists. A large number of schoolchildren, commuters and cyclists use Priory Crescent and this plan removes the pavement on one side of the road and reduces the size of the pavement on the other side. Yet you state that you want to retain pedestrian safety. These proposals contradict this statement.
  5. Has a study been carried out of the lorries that use the Prittlebrook Industrial Estate? This road proposal would make it extremely difficult for them to turn into the estate. The alternative would be for them to access the estate from Manners Way!
  6. Unfortunately, I cannot help but think that the councillors have not looked at this proposal in a fair and unbiased way. This is mass destruction of a busy but attractive area, driven by money. A fact that I have heard related by at least two councillors!
To sum up, perhaps traffic lights at Cuckoo Corner would help the problem of the junction, I am not sure. Usually putting in roundabouts and removing lights helps problem junctions. As it appears only one lane can proceed westbound from Priory Crescent to Prince Avenue, due to the Victoria Avenue filter lane, this scheme could be tested without making Priory Crescent a dual carriageway and alleviating all the environmental damage that would be caused.

Needless to say I am completely against your preferred option.

Yours faithfully,

D Banning (Mrs)

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