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Streets to made safer to deter oy racers

PUBLISHED: 19:25 12 October 2001 | UPDATED: 15:18 03 March 2010

A SERIES of options are to be drawn up to make Felixstowe's seafront streets safer and drive out the boy-racers.

But residents today called for urgent action and hoped that behind-the-scenes-work would not take as long as in the past.

A SERIES of options are to be drawn up to make Felixstowe's seafront streets safer and drive out the boy-racers.

But residents today called for urgent action and hoped that behind-the-scenes-work would not take as long as in the past.

Five years ago, people living in the seafront area were invited to an exhibition featuring a package of proposals to cut car congestion and make the West End safer, priced then at £100,000.

Nothing happened until last summer when parking bays – one of many ideas put forward – were created in part of Sea Road.

"Several of our members are concerned that the council officers will now go away and be gone a long time before we see any ideas and proposals," said Doreen Rayner, chairman of the West End of Felixstowe Residents' Association (WEFRA).

"They are saying that last time we had to wait five years, how long will it be this time?

"But we have been greatly encouraged and heartened by the interest shown by the county council and we will be keeping in touch with them to see what ideas and solutions they are looking at in the time ahead."

WEFRA held a public meeting at the Marlborough Hotel, which was addressed by county council traffic engineer Angela Rapley, who also answered residents questions and listened to their views.

"I understand the county council will now draw up a series of options to make this area safer – they saw the residents' concern and frustration and know the problems we face," said Mrs Rayner.

"Of course, we understand that only so much money is available for Felixstowe and several problems need addressing, but we hope we can make a good case for setting aside money for this part of the town."

County councillor David Rowe, also at the meeting, pledged to fight to make the seafront a priority because it was densely-populated area and also a prime area for visitors to Felixstowe.

WEFRA supports the idea that Sea Road between Manwick and Beach Station Roads should be pedestrianised, especially at weekends.

Police fear there will be a serious accident soon unless extreme action is taken to stop the young drivers, who have been performing stunts amid crowds of daytrippers at the resort's busiest times.

Safety campaigners and residents are worried that a child could step off the pavement in Sea Road into the path of a speeding car and be killed.

The pedestrian plan involve putting barriers across the road and the tops of the sidestreets to create a car-free zone in the busiest part of the resort, which should make it safer and much more attractive for visitors.

That would allow people to wander freely to the Forum and its kiosks, Family Amusements, Charles Manning's funfair, pub and restaurant.

The scheme – backed by Felixstowe Safety Committee – could operate on Sundays and Bank Holidays between 12 noon and 6pm.

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