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.

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3 comments

  1. The simplest solution would be to stop motorised traffic using it (the shared space). There is a perfectly good road for them to use.
    If the council want rid of it thats fair enough, but that space should be given for pedestrians in that case, after all its not peds bumping into peds and running over other peds that have caused the problem.

  2. I like the idea of shared spaces but drivers need to understand what this means and in my book this means that they are no longer king!
    I’ve seen buses so often travel along this space at speed that it is no wonder someone has been hurt. I firmly believe that if you are in charge of a dirty great big metal box you have a much greater responsibility to be aware of others around you and slow down!!

  3. Over the last few months there has been a greater use of the shared access by Private vehicles, commercial vehicles, taxis and private higher cars in order to by pass the traffic lights at Victoria Circus. This is one of many problem with this scheme.

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