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After a number of secret meetings between Essex highway supremos and representatives of local governments in Southend, Castle Point and Basildon, Southend News Network can EXCLUSIVELY reveal that a change to the 50 mph average speed limit zone on the A127 is being considered. According to documents that we have seen, there is strong support for the stretch between the Fairglen Interchange and Cuckoo Corner to be reduced to an average of 20 mph.
In a leaked email that we obtained from a stolen laptop, Mervyn Rollo (county chief of accident reductions) states: ‘The average speed zone of 20 mph on Southend Seafront has led to the steepest drop in accidents for a generation, and we need to replicate this success on the A127 as a matter of extreme urgency. Therefore, I strongly suggest that we all vote in favour of proposals to make the average speed limit 20 mph from Fairglen to Cuckoo Corner – our budget forecast team has estimated that the new camera installations will not exceed £480m in initial costs.’
He added: ‘Another seafront innovation that the A127 should take on board is the idea of ‘shared space.’ With the new lower speed limits, we can be seen as pioneers of the UK’s highways by installing the first ever shared space areas on an A-class road. My team has earmarked ten possible sections of the A127 between Rayleigh and Southend that could be shared effectively between motorists and pedestrians, and this sort of crossing will be far cheaper than the lighted crossing at Kent Elms Corner. Installing them will also lead to far less disruption as we should in theory be able to just carry out the work once, as opposed to repeatedly.’
As the megainjunction has now been lifted, Southend News Network can reveal the full results of this series of top-secret meetings. The final vote was as follows:
- 65% of all members were in favour of making the Rayleigh-Southend stretch of the A127 take on a 20 mph average speed limit.
- 61% of all members were also in favour of installing ‘shared space’ areas on the A127 to allow pedestrians to cross safely.
- 39% of all members were in favour of keeping the 50 mph average limit on the A127 AND installing ‘shared space’ areas.
- 20% of all members were in favour of changing Southend Seafront’s 20 mph average speed zone to 50 mph.
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