Work underway on greening gateway to Southend

Published Friday, 15th February 2019

New benches, planters in London Road

New planters, lighting columns and benches are being installed at the town-centre end of London Road as part of a project to improve access and create a more attractive gateway to the town.

The work is part of the Southend Central Area Transport Scheme (S-CATS) and follows the reconfiguration of the highway and parking of London Road between Queensway and College Way as well as the introduction of new electric vehicle charging points.

A total of eight Corten steel lighting columns, which are designed to give a rust effect, were erected earlier this week together with seven complementary planters and seven benches. The planters will be planted with ivy within the next few weeks.

The landscaping scheme was the result of consultation with local businesses and marks the end of the first phase work along this stretch of London Road.

Later phases of the project will focus on improving the section of London Road (from College Way to Victoria Circus) and then improving the Victoria Circus public area itself.

Cllr Andrew Moring, cabinet member for infrastructure, said: “I’m pleased to see work progressing on the landscaping of this important gateway to the town. The clever design allows us to introduce greenery to an area where planting trees into the ground was not an option due to the large number of pipes and cables beneath the road, as well as introducing attractive new lighting and seating.

“I’d like to thank all the local businesses who fed into the final design by sharing their ideas.”

Southend Central Area Transport Scheme (S-CATS) is a £7m project is being fully funded by the Department for Transport’s Local Growth Fund through the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP).

The first phase of S-CATS was completed in 2017 with £1m worth junction improvements on Victoria Avenue (Great Eastern, Carnarvon Road and East Street/West Street).

Phase 2 (just completed) is a £2m public realm and streetscape improvement scheme along London Road (between Queensway and College Way through to Elmer Avenue) to make this an attractive gateway to Southend High Street.

Later phases of the project will focus on improving the section of London Road (from College Way to Victoria Circus) and then improving the Victoria Circus itself. A much wider stakeholder engagement process is planned to develop design options for these phases.