£1m improve resort's roads
By Rebecca SheppardA SEASIDE resort looks set to receive a huge injection of funding to make it more “pedestrian friendly”.Tendring District Council has been allocated £1 million to reduce the amount of traffic in Clacton, making it safer for people to walk the streets.
By Rebecca Sheppard
A SEASIDE resort looks set to receive a huge injection of funding to make it more “pedestrian friendly”.
Tendring District Council has been allocated £1 million to reduce the amount of traffic in Clacton, making it safer for people to walk the streets.
The money was secured from Essex County Council after a study showed the resort would benefit from traffic-calming measures.
Tendring district councillor Peter Patrick, portfolio holder for planning, said: “Clacton has not got a greater problem with traffic than other town centres in Essex, but there are obviously problem areas. This is about improving the town and making the environment nicer.”
The council will receive the funding in three instalments, with £50,000 being awarded this year and a further £50,000 next year.
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It will have to spend this initial funding on another more detailed study of the town, which will outline what improvements need to be made and where, and a consultation exercise to determine if the public and businesses approve of the proposals.
Once that has been completed, the council will be given £900,000 in 2005 to make the improvements.
Among the measures being considered for the town are road narrowing, speed ramps and disabled-only parking.
The council might even restrict the access to some roads at certain times of the day so public transport can travel unhindered along busy streets.
Tendring district councillor Harry Shearing, portfolio holder with responsibility for highways, said the council would not be planning to pedestrianise the whole town centre.
He added: “We may plan to close some areas to vehicles, but really the aim of these measures is to make drivers in the town centre feel they should not be there.”
Mr Shearing said he was sure the proposed measures to reduce the number and speed of vehicles in the town centre would get a positive response from businesses and residents.
“We are thrilled to get this money and we hope to rejuvenate Clacton so it becomes a more friendlier place to visit and shop,” he added.
“We hope it will become a safe haven for the people living here, especially as many of them are elderly.”
This is the second time Tendring District Council has applied for funding from Essex County Council for a traffic-calming strategy.
Mr Shearing felt the council was successful this time because the scheme was more inventive than previously.
“We have been very active in pushing this scheme forward. I think the last one was just not innovative enough,” he said.
But Mr Patrick was keen to stress the funding has only been provisionally allocated to Tendring District Council, subject to consultation with the public and a feasibility study.
He added: “We are likely to get the £1m, but nothing is for sure. It is not in the bank yet.”