Residents urge Southend councillors to introduce speed calming on Thorpe Bay Gardens

Residents have been left feeling let down after political arguments appeared to hijack a discussion over vital speeding measures on Thorpe Bay Gardens.

The residents living on a long stretch of road on Thorpe Bay Gardens, near to the seafront, have warned that lives are at risk due to motorists speeding down the road at speeds exceeding 70mph.

But the safety concerns became politicised on Monday night when a discussions over the introduction of speed bumps descended into what one councillor called “a farce”.

Councillor Tony Cox (Con) focussed his criticisms on the council’s deputy leader Cllr Ron Woodley for bringing the issue to the meeting.

The Conservative group leader argued councillors had already rejected the proposals for speed calming in September because there was not enough evidence to prove speeding was taking place,

Cllr Woodley argued the issue needed further discussion because speeding on the road is “horrendous” and “anybody could get killed”.

He added that the council had also received reports of drug-induced driving on the road.

Cllr Cox remained unconvinced and told the deputy leader he was the person responsible for transport and he could have overrode the September decision to reject the proposals but he “didn’t have the balls”.

He added: “Nothing has been presented here tonight to justify anyone making a different decision to what they made in September. I’ve never known speed bumps to stop drug-induced driving.

“If someone is going to take a drug and drive they are going to do regardless of whether there are speed bumps or not. This is an absolute farce.”

Barry Robins, who lives on the road and attended Monday’s meeting expressed frustration over the political arguments that left councillors not taking the issue seriously.

“We are trying to do this the proper way but it is getting held up due to the politics,” he said.

“We have a green area that attracts dog walkers, school kids and people out for a walk and so our road attracts more than the average number of people.

“That is why we feel that this is a priority. We have got to stop the speeding because if nothing is done someone if going to get killed or badly hurt.”

Steve Shaw

Local Democracy Reporter