Seafront contraflow to be reduced in length

The contraflow on Western Esplanade will be reduced in length as part of a phased approach to its eventual removal.

View of City Beach

The widened promenade was introduced in mid-May, as part of a package of measures to help protect public safety following the announcement by Government that lockdown restrictions were being eased.

The contraflow will be removed west of Shorefield Road, with around 80 car parking spaces being made available again. It is hoped the changes will be completed by this weekend.

The contraflow will remain in place to the east of Shorefield Road, although some slight revisions have already been made to the area outside of The Arches cafes to allow those businesses to receive deliveries.

Cllr Ron Woodley, deputy leader of the council, says: “The key principle of installing the contraflow was based on protecting public health and saving lives, and that remains our key priority at this time as we continue to tackle Coronavirus.

“We have kept the contraflow under regular review and believe that the stretch from Chalkwell Esplanade to Shorefield Road can now be removed. This stretch is not as busy as the central seafront area and therefore the additional space is not as critically needed in this area. We are speaking with our contractors and hope to make this change by the weekend.

“The contraflow that remains will be kept under regular review and we will continue to monitor national announcements and advice around social distancing. Should the Government announce a reduction on the 2 metre social distancing advice then we will look to remove the contraflow as it would no longer be needed for that purpose.

“The majority of the contraflow costs was the purchase of 1,200 steel barriers and 750 highways cones which are now owned by the council. This was an investment into protecting health and saving lives which rightly comes above all else at this time. However, it is also an investment in equipment that can be used for years to come for a variety of purposes including road safety, road closures, events where marshalling is required for example, or in areas where queueing systems are needed.”

Published: 17th June 2020

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