Southend Council is to spend £75,000 altering hundreds of seafront parking bays following a barrage of criticism from motorists.Yup, that'll be these bays. The ones the council were insisting were for our protection.
The bays, originally at right angles to the road, were changed so they slanted away from oncoming traffic, forcing motorists to drive past them, then reverse in.And there was a big hoo-ha and the council insisted that they were obeying Dept of Transport guidelines and sorry, guv, nuffink we can do, right?
At the time, the council claimed the new layout was safer, but the majority of drivers – forced to stop on the busy road and reverse against the flow of traffic – disagreed.
Yesterday, the council confirmed it would be changing the layout so the bays faced the other way, allowing motorists to drive straight into a bay.Which is presumably going to account for most of that eye-watering 'Ooops, we goofed!' sum.
Mark Flewitt, Tory Southend councillor responsible for transport and planning, said work would start within days. A new zebra crossing, extra disabled parking bays and a taxi rank would be added at the same time.
Which perhaps should come out of the pocket of the person responsible for ploughing ahead in the first place in the teeth of so much opposition, eh? Who was that, anyway?
Oh. Of Course. Southend Council's one-woman disaster area:I think the safest thing Southend Council could do in future is the opposite of whatever this woman thinks is a good idea....
Senior Tory councillor Anna Waite was responsible for transport and planning when the slanted bays were first marked out.A little mea culpa, Anna?
She said: “The layout was the Department For Transport recommendation for a road with a 30mph limit.
“It was also what our officers recommended to me, since we didn’t want to lower the speed limit on that bit of road.
“The council said at the time it would review the arrangement, after a season, which is what we are doing. I suspect the average speed along there is already below 30 mph, but I hope whatever decision is made considers all the safety aspects.”