Southend Standard
August 3, 2007


No infrastructure? No development!

THE report about councillors backing the revised Priory Park road plan has not solved the basic problem (July 27).

How is the stream of traffic arriving at Cuckoo Corner roundabout being processed? To label the accepted plan with "New junction at Cuckoo Corner" is the equivalent of treating the people of Southend with contempt.

The only solution would be to put in a Chelmsford Army and Navy style roundabout to give continuous egress from Priory Crescent. Although this would not be a pretty solution, it would remove the necessity of tree felling and road dualling or widening except for a short length.

Of course, the traffic jam would then move to the Bell lights. Perhaps a two-lane underpass here or a bridge similar to those on the A13 nearer London, either being able to accommodate bi-directional working according to requirements.

Anna Waite's comment that "anticipated traffic flows are likely to change because of cancelled housing on MoD New Ranges or future development prospects of the airport" doesn't take into account the present problem of over-development in the eastern end of the borough.

The Thames Gateway plan (July 20 and 27) shows a main road going north into Shoebury. Does this join up with the mythical relief road going north of Rochford and then west to the A130?

Like EW Negus (27), I also remember the plans for dual carriageways, monorails, etc, to feed the planned Maplin Airport. Does anyone else also remember the slogan 'No motorway on our foreshore' painted in white,, 3ft high capital letters on Chalkwell station wall, or the flyoover at Old Leigh that went nowhere, but may just have been built in advance of the road that never was?

Road congestion is nothing new. It's now just worse than ever and "anticipated traffic flows" will surely only increase.

Just like some of the areas in the UK after the recent rain, this area of south east Essex is saturated, not with water but with buildings.

I suggest a new slogan: No infrastructure? No development!

Yeovil Chase, Westcliff

Council's pledge to Camp Blingers

WORK will start later this summer on the commemoration ground for Southend's Saxon king - if Camp Bling campaigners move off their protest site.

Southend Council hopes the group will move off the land after it announced a revised road widening scheme in Priory Crescent which protects the Saxon king's burial ground.

Anna Waite, councillor responsible for transport, told a full council meeting she would give a promise "here and now" that landscaping of the burial ground area would take place this summer.

However, this would depend on the protesters vacating the site, Mrs Waite added.

At the meeting, Mrs Waitew was also asked if she was prepared to use taxpayers' cash to evict Camp Blingers if it became necessary.

Mrs Waite said: "Should those currently on the site choose not to go, a decision as to how to manage the situation will have to be taken. However, the cost of their removal would be substantial and thus a contingency has been built into the estimate to cover issues of site security and access.

"Whether this money comes from central Government or from the council tax, it ist still taxpayers' money and I sincerely hope those on the site will now accept my offer to restore the area in a fitting manner and leave as soon as they can."

Mrs Waite said there was no question the new road scheme would be abandoned. The £10million project involves a dual carriageway half the length of Priory Crescent, leading up to Cuckoo Corner.

The old £21million plan to dual the whole of Priory Crescent was scrapped because the Government said it was too expensive.

Mrs Waite added: "We are working closely with the Department for Transport to ensure the scheme delivers the best value for money at the same time as safeguarding the environment and heritage of the area.

"It is important to stress the benefits this scheme will deliver, particularly to residents in the east of the town adn to businesses that provide employment and services which depend directly upon good transport links."

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