A source within local government has contacted Southend News Network to say that controversial plans to make the A127 a 30 mph average speed limit have been scrapped in favour of introducing a system of variable speed limits between Kent Elms Corner and Southend Town Centre. According to the email that we received, the speed limit will depend entirely on the type of vehicle being driven, and any revenue generated from the 36 proposed cameras will be reinvested in local projects of artistic and cultural value.

Our source explained: ‘The first bit of good news is that the current 40 mph limit will stay in place for most vehicle types. Emergency service vehicles will be able to continue exceeding speed limits when it is vital to do so, and any form of public transport will be able to enjoy a speed limit of 70 mph in an attempt to encourage the public to leave their car at home – the ‘public transport’ category will include buses and taxis. For any other type of vehicle that wishes to take advantage of the 70 mph limit on a one-off basis, we are delighted to be introducing the A127 FastPass.’

‘The A127 FastPass is basically a 24-hour permit that allows any motorist to drive at speeds of up to 70 mph between Kent Elms Corner and Southend Town Centre. If a motorist is recorded on the average cameras at a speed between 40-70 mph, they will have until midnight of the following day to pay a £20 fee either online or at a number of local newsagents and off licences. If this payment is not made, the fee will be converted into a conventional speeding fine and penalty points once it is passed over to Essex Police.’

We contacted our source for more information about how any revenue from the A127 FastPass would be spent. He said: ‘The money will be used to fund local projects of significant cultural value. For instance, a number of towns all over the UK organise an annual event where a variety of aerial vehicles perform in an ‘off the ground’ setting for the benefit of the hundreds of thousands of money-carrying visitors below. This is always an option that we have wanted to explore, but funding has historically been tight due to building a rotating clock that did everything but clock properly.’