Southend Times
November 13, 2001


Simple solutions usually the best

IN the end the solution is so simple - as it usually is in these situations.

There is no need to take up any part of Priory Park to ease the traffic congestion along Priory Crescent.

The road can comfortably be dualled with the only casualties being the trees outside of the park which will be replaced on a two mature trees for every old tree destroyed basis - for which, surely, nobody can complain about..

Many will ask why this couldn't have been suggested in the beginning and save all the aggro of residents forming action groups, another newspaper claiming the bulldozers were set to move into Priory Park and councillors taking so much verbal abuse.

Perhaps it was. As the old saying goes: "You never know what goes on behind net curtains."

There certainly seems to have been soul searching in the corridors of power within the Civic Centre.

Now, though, it is up to the residents of Southend to have their say.

The council are to embark on a massive consultation exercise through the columns of their CIVIC NEWS, which will give everyone the opportunity of giving their verdict on the proposals.

Now that there is no threat to the park, it is to be hoped that the debate can be continued publicly in a less emotionally charged atmosphere than up to now.

In fact, there doesn't seem a lot to debate.

The council have the money for this work to proceed.

They don't have the money - nor the likelyhood of it - for a more ambitious scheme to create an outer relief road, which would be difficult to push through with Rochford District Council so much against the idea.

As has been pointed out so often in this current debate, the option for doing nothing doesn't exist.

There are going to be some massive housing developments at Shoebury - adding to the strain on the roads to and from that area.

Even if the public gives the Priory Crescent scheme the thumbs up it is going to take two or three years before the road is built.

There is, therefore, no time to lose now in pushing ahead with this scheme

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