The pedestrian crossing by Southend Airport, shortly after the traffic lights were stolen today.

The senior manager of Southend Highways has been expressing his anger after a complete set of SIX traffic lights was stolen from a new pedestrian crossing by Southend Airport. Malcolm Flowton has vowed to take ‘all necessary steps’ to ensure that they are returned as soon as possible, and local police officers have confirmed that a major hunt is now underway.

Mr Flowton said: ‘The new crossing by the Harp House Roundabout at Southend Airport had only been up and running for a few hours before the traffic lights were stolen, and these b*stards could have blood on their hands if someone is injured trying to get across the road. What would someone honestly want with six sets of traffic lights anyway? They have very little value on the open market as they are usually only installed by government-backed agencies, and so as soon as they are offered to someone it will be obvious that they are stolen goods! To be honest, I have a strong suspicion that there are dark forces involved here, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the culprits turned out to be a known local campaign group – time will tell.’

In a late development, Southend News Network received a disguised phone call at 5pm this afternoon from someone claiming to be a representative of Close Southend Airport Permanently – a semi-militant group who recently held a protest by using a zebra crossing continuously for six hours in Southend Town Centre. According to the so-called ‘Mr X,’ the six traffic light sets are ‘unharmed and in good spirits,’ and he confirmed that they will be returned and reinstalled once Easyjet and FlyBe have withdrawn services from London Southend Airport.

A spokesperson for Southend Council said: ‘We would never even consider negotiating with a group of people who think that it is acceptable to steal traffic lights, and to be honest they have all been caught on CCTV driving the lights to a not-so-secret location around the back of the Argos by the airport anyway – these are not the actions of experienced criminals.’