Council’s plan will make Cuckoo Corner worse

Peter Walker

Southend Borough Council’s plan to install traffic lights at Cuckoo Corner roundabout, entailing the widening of 200 metres of Priory Crescent, will actually cause greater problems than currently exist.

The Priory Park Preservation Society are in the process of carrying out a peak-hour survey of the junction and their initial findings are that it functions well.

The first stage of the process is to compare traffic flows in 2010 to those in 2003, when comprehensive surveys were carried out by W.S. Atkins and the results were published at the Public Inquiry of 2004. The 2003 data showed that during the weekday morning rush hour (0800-0900), 24 vehicles turned left from Priory Crescent to Victoria Avenue, and in the hour from 1700 – 1800 there were 17 left turns.

“This is work that the Council themselves should be doing,” said Peter Walker, Chairman of the PPPS. “This current scheme is very different from the old F5 dual carriageway plan but the Council, who have not consulted the public and have published no data which is less than 7 years old, are pushing ahead with no idea what is needed nor any idea of the consequences.”

“Our data shows a marked difference. Clearly we don’t have the resources of a big company like Atkins so this survey will take some time to complete, but we do know that the number of vehicles turning left out of Priory Crescent has now dropped into single figures. During the weekday rush hour, only 4 vehicles turned left in the morning and 3 in the evening. We believe this reduction is down to the fact that the RBS site and Lookers car showrooms are no more. However, there is no firm plan yet to put any more industry on that site and it calls into question the Council’s entire thinking on widening Priory Crescent.”

“Why spend all that money for an extra lane when only one vehicle every 15 minutes will use it?”

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