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Residents: Our traffic snarl-up fears for A127
7:30am Thursday 23rd August 2012 in Southend
FAMILIES claim Southend’s arterial road will not cope with traffic to the town’s increasingly busy airport, creating rat runs through surrounding streets.
Southend Airport ’s target of increasing passenger numbers to two million a year by 2020 strikes fear into people living in Prittlewell, who claim their roads are already clogged up with people avoiding jams on the A127 .
Ric Morgan, an Independent councillor after recently crossing the floor from the Lib Dems, says more than 100 cars an hour are using Colemans Avenue, Midhurst Avenue and Rochester Drive to cut out parts of Prince Avenue, in Westcliff .
Mr Morgan, who lives in Hobleythick Lane, Westcliff, which is also affected, said: “I know the increase in traffic coming down Prince Avenue to the airport is going to clog up the road.
“All our junctions on the A127 are going to be seriously congested. That’ll make our roads particularly dangerous.”
Residents are calling for speed bumps, junction improvements, the removal of traffic lights at Cuckoo Corner and even a relief road from Shoebury to the airport to ease jams.
But Southend Council refused to acknowledge a problem, pointing to a survey as part of Tesco’s application for a store in Short Street showing town centre traffic decreased by 16 per cent between 2008 and 2011 as people swapped to using buses or trains.
The survey said traffic was expected to increase as more people used the airport, but the road network would cope because a lot of the journeys were at off-peak times.
Tony Cox, Tory Southend councillor responsible for transport, said he had received no complaints about traffic in Prittlewell He added: “I would describe it as adequate in the fact you don’t get major hold-ups. Obviously flows could be improved, but I’ve never experienced any problems.”
He said keeping the A127 moving was key to preventing rat runs and the council was designing improvements for the Bell and Kent Elms junctions ready for when funding is available.