Sunday, 10 February 2013

All About the Seafront This Week

Most of my time this week has been dominated by two key issues on he seafront. Last weekend I was made aware of the terrible incident on City Beach involving a cyclist and a pedestrian on the footpath outside Chinnery's.

I sincerely hope that the young girl makes a swift and full recovery but spent most of Monday answering media requests around the safety of City Beach. Although the incident is still subject to a police investigation, early indications would suggest that the incident was a case of a cyclist cycling on a pavement hitting a pedestrian.

Whilst that area of Marine Parade is shared space, the footpath outside the amusements and Chinnery's  has always been designated for pedestrians where the seafront side is dual purpose for both cyclists and pedestrians. Once full details have been released by the police, officers will naturally look to see if there are any highway implications as a result.

On Thursday, officers were successful in obtaining an injunction to prevent an unofficial and unauthorised cruise event. The cruise had been switched by the organisers from Colchester and if allowed to go ahead would have cause mayhem for residents, visitors and traders.

When organisers were talking about a 'takeover' of Southend conjuring up images of loud music, wheel spinning, racing of vehicles and anti-social behaviour. There is no way that residents in Kursaal and Milton wards have done anything to deserve that.

Whilst I was doing a tour of the airwaves Friday and appearing on BBC Look East yesterday to explain to residents the reasons why we have taken this action, I was staggered that a Labour Milton councillor and two Independent Party councillors were actually critical of officers and the administration for obtaining the injunction.

Along with my fellow ward and cabinet colleague Cllr Jarvis, we joined officers and the police yesterday evening in monitoring the situation. Fortunately, everything passed off peacefully. It was also pleasing that visitors were not put off from coming and it was very much business as usual with Southend open for business.


Julian Ware-Lane said...

Like your leader you have taken to quoting a private email without seeking my permission. This really is poor form. This jeopardises your integrity and now leaves me with a problem should I wish to email you in future.

Anonymous said...

At no time since it was built has Southend Council stated that the arcade side of City Beach was pedestrians only.

The public have been led to believe, right from the beginning, that the entire City Beach from the pier to the Kursaal was 'shared space'.

There are NO signs saying the arcade side is pedestrians only. In fact it is quite clearly NOT pedestrians only because there are always cars parked on that side of the road. So it is clear that it is permitted for motor vehicles to be driven on that piece of pavement, and if cars can be driven there then bicycles can be cycled there.

It seems to me that Cllr Cox, in now saying that pavement is NOT part of the shared space is trying to remove blame from the council for such an appalling implementation of 'shared space', which the council are now saying is not 'shared space' at all.

I now wait to see if Cllr Cox will have the courage to permit this comment to appear.