I haven’t said very much about the shared space down on Southend Seafront – the old “Golden Mile”.
It was discussed again at last Thursday’s full council meeting, where the administration’s decision to go ahead with average speed cameras (to enforce the 20mph zone) was given the go ahead.
My view is that it is much easier to enforce car drivers to keep their speeds down than it is to force pedestrians (young and old) to cross where you want them to. I find it difficult to believe that if the council put a zebra crossing in the middle of the shared space (it should be remembered that there are two crossings already – one at each end) that everyone will cross there. If you come out of Mr B’s or down Pier Hill and you want to go to Pebbles One for some donuts, do you go the other way to use the lights to cross over? No of course you don’t, you just cross the road. Likewise if you come out of Chinnery’s or arcades further up the seafront. If you put a crossing in the middle those in the middle will use it, those more than two feet away won’t!
How often do you see people crossing only yards away from a zebra/pelican crossing?
This doesn’t mean that I feel the seafront should become a racetrack! Far from it, if the average speed cameras are put in (and I hope we get on with it so they are there well in time for next summer) car drivers will have to go at 20mph max, they can’t escape. Then pedestrians can do what they do best, cross where they want, when they want, when they feel it is safe to do so!