Day: 21/11/2014

Southend’s Victoria Gateway, and the “Shared Space”

I pass the Victoria Gateway “shared space” twice a day every weekday, on my way to the train station in the morning, and on my way home in the evening. For those who aren’t familiar, the stretch of road passing Southend Victoria station is on the same level as the pavement and very similarly paved. Not identically, but certainly making it more of a challenge to differentiate.

The obvious flaws in this design are, as I say, obvious; but essentially there is a reason why pedestrians and traffic are usually kept separate.

I wasn’t, then, surprised at the news of the young schoolboy hit by a bus on the shared space earlier this week. I do not know his status, but my heart goes out to him and his family. It is, without any doubt, a horrible tragedy to befall anyone, and having seen the speed at which buses come round that corner, I can unfortuantely picture just how such an accident could happen.

Unfortunately for those who would like to see it torn up and replaced with something adhering a little more to common sense, it cost an absolute bomb. So in these austere that is not likely to happen, however much sense I agree it might make.

That isn’t to say that some measures cannot be taken to improve the safety of this corner. Perhaps instituting a lower speed limit, or some way of demarcating the “shared” part. I don’t know, but it needs to be looked into.

I do know that the shared space was a poor idea when it was implemented, and time has not improved it.