The Labour Party candidates in the west of Southend, both local and national, have called for greater investment in the roads to and within the town.
Matt Dent, candidate for Blenheim Park ward, said, “As part of my campaign, I’ve been speaking to people across the borough, and time and again the subject of the roads has been raised. Transport infrastructure across south east Essex is strained to breaking point, and for those who need to travel to work it has become an almost daily headache. The A127, in particular, as the pulmonary artery of south Essex, needs investment to ensure that it is fit for purpose, for those commuters who rely upon it.”
Julian Ware-Lane, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Southend West, a commuter who uses the A127, A130 and A12, wants to see a much better transport network.
Julian says: “I have been a commuter since 1989, when I left the my post in HM Customs and Excise to seek adventure far and wide. Unfortunately, such adventure as there was to be had was often delayed by traffic jams.”
Julian added: “If I am elected as MP for Southend West one thing that I am keen to address is the road infrastructure locally. I want to see significant improvements. I believe there is a strong argument for a motorway traversing the south of Essex, one that would link the M25 with the east of the borough. I accept that this is easier to say than do, and there will be many arguments over route, and whether it should be an entirely new road or a major overhaul of existing routes.”
“This debate has been carrying on since at least the 1970s,when a motorway was suggested to link the proposed Maplin Airport with London. It really does appear that whilst jams have multiplied there has been little will amongst the local MPs to really get their teeth into this issue.”
Julian Ware-Lane is also an advocate for public transport and will explore the possibility of a park-and-ride scheme for Southend. He also thinks that recent rail fare increases have been excessive.
The road infrastructure in South Essex has seen piecemeal improvements in recent decades that have barely kept up with increasing traffic volumes. Traffic jams are a regular feature, and it does not take much to create gridlock. There are two main arteries into Southend, as well as the road north from Rochford. The A13 and A127 cope manfully with their workload, although it does goes disastrously wrong from time to time.