A number of motorists around Southend On Sea have described being in a state of ‘shock’ after realising that Shared Space areas around the borough are actually for sharing with pedestrians, as opposed to other motorists.
For Thorpe Bay motorist Roger Clutch, 45, the realisation came when he was passing the arcades in the Golden Mile at 4 mph, only for a family of day trippers from Upminster to step out onto some wobbly-patterned bricks without looking and expecting to be allowed to cross unimpeded.
Mr Clutch stated, ‘This is a nightmare. It is only a matter of time before the entire seafront comes to a complete standstill. Last summer, there was almost a fist fight after a man with a dachshund got involved in a 45-minute stand-off with a Vauxhall Corsa.’
In a poll carried out by Southend News Network, we asked 500 local motorists if they knew who or what the town’s Shared Space areas should be shared with. The results are below:
- 76% – Other vehicles
- 10% – Bicycles
- 8% – Dogs
- 3% – Trains
- 2% – Nuns
- 1% – Japanese Knotweed
Local road safety groups feel that a system of ‘looking before crossing’ should be implemented at all times, although a growing number of tourists feel that footbridges at 10m intervals from The Kursaaaal to The Pier would be a cost-effective solution.
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