Heavy traffic and mass confusion have been reported all over Southend this morning after local tourism chiefs flipped the ‘London – Southend’ sign around on Southend Airport Train Station in a desperate attempt to direct more arriving passengers towards Southend instead of London. At around 4am this morning, people began contacting Southend News Network to let us know that the sign had been flipped, and as a result there are now estimated to be more than 5,000 tourists wandering around Southend High Street trying to find Big Ben and Buckingham Palace.
Southend Head of Tourism and Recreation Horace Morris explained the idea to one of our reporters a few minutes ago. He said, ‘We have already tried a number of different options, including making the ‘Southend’ part of the sign bigger and putting a frowny face next to the ‘London’ part, but it seems that nothing was stopping thousands of daily arriving flight passengers heading towards London instead of Southend. We are already encouraged by the sheer number of people who are wandering around Southend Town Centre wondering where on earth they are, and we are confident that they will decide to stay here instead once they realise their mistake.’
We caught up with a couple from the USA who were trying to cross the shared space outside Southend Victoria station. Douglas and Theresa Thudd have been visiting London regularly for the last 30 years, and they told our reporter that they will give the town a go before heading back to the Capital. Mr Thudd said, ‘Someone just told me that you guys have the world’s longest pleasure pier, two thriving shopping centres and a McDonalds at either end of the main shopping street – I have already called our hotel in London and cancelled our two-week booking.
However, it has emerged that Airport chiefs are furious about the sign change, and they confirmed to Southend News Network EXCLUSIVELY that nobody within the airport authorised the work to be carried out. A maintenance crew from the airport operator tried to put the letters back at first light this morning, but they found that council workers had used really strong glue, and also that the entire sign area had been ‘booby trapped’ with electrified concrete. An airport said that it looked ‘ridiculous,’ and that it could have just been done by someone with very little experience of photoshop.’
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