Sunday, 6 October 2013

Victoria Gateway Review

Tomorrow night, the Victoria Gateway Scheme Review will be debated by a cross party group of councillor's who will have the chance to make comments and give suggestions before a final paper is given to cabinet in November for a final decision to be made.

Like the City Beach the Independent report confirms that Victoria Gateway is safe. Let's be clear, if the report suggested that the scheme was unsafe, regardless of costs, I would have suggested tearing it up, but it doesn't and the accident data shows that with even more pedestrian movements since it's introduction there have been less recorded accidents in the area.

What I accept which hasn't worked so well is the pedestrian area which does look barren and needs more to make it a public space rather than just a space that people walk through.

I agree with the report in that continuous delineation of the kerb edge on the 'shared space' area by using a form of tactile paving is required. This is the same recommendation as the City Beach review.

I was also pleased that the report identifies the main part of the Victoria Gateway scheme which for me does not work well - the junction from East going West which has two lanes doing a right down Victoria Avenue and one Lane going towards London Road.

There are a number of vehicles who use that middle lane to go straight across which is prohibited and the proposal to hold the two lanes doing a right down Victoria Avenue whilst the other lane going straight across moves is a welcome proposal.

Whilst the report suggests some minor remedial works, I did pay a recent visit on foot to observe and whilst I accept that there are some who will never like the scheme at Victoria Gateway, what is undeniable is that since the introduction of the new scheme, more people use the area and it provides that link what was previously missing from the High Street to Southend Victoria Station.

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