A top level meeting to discuss the transportation needs of Colchester for the next 30 years has been held between Essex County Council and Colchester Borough Council.
The meeting was called to ensure there is complete joined up working around future housing and employment demands as well as the critical infrastructure required to secure proper sustainability for the Borough over the next three decades.
Plans such as work on improving further the A133 Cowdray Avenue, enhancing the Queen Street area, tackling high level congestion around North Station roundabout and also remodelling the Warren Lane/Maldon Road junction in Stanway were top of the agenda. There were also talks around future use of public transport, including enhancements to Colchester Park and Ride, and how to improve journey times for people.
Cllr Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader of Essex County Council, hailed the talks as a “the first step in creating a truly joined up transport network across Colchester”.
Following the meeting, he said: “It is crucially important that as we move forward with plans for growth, jobs and housing for this generation and the next that we also plan proper transport links that work for everyone. We cannot afford for transport infrastructure to fall behind and that is what this meeting was all about.
“I want a proper plan in place that looks forward to the future and will give confidence to residents that Colchester will not come to a grinding halt in future years. It will take a great deal of planning and partnership working with the Borough Council and we need to share this vision with the people of Colchester, but I am confident that after such a productive meeting we will start to make real progress.
“This is the first step in creating a truly joined up transport network across Colchester.”
So far £50 million has been invested into road, cycle and bus infrastructure across Colchester to reduce the burden congestion has on residents and businesses alike.
Cllr Paul Smith, Leader of Colchester Borough Council, said: “Yesterday’s meeting with Essex County Council underlined our shared commitment to move forward, in partnership, to deliver improved transport for the people of Colchester. Collaboration is vital, if we are to develop sustainable solutions to the transport issues that impact residents, the environment and the local economy.
“We can now begin to move forward with proposals that will enhance Park & Ride, prioritise walking and safe cycling, and see additional buses fitted with emissions reduction technology – which in turn will help reduce congestion, improve air quality and promote public health in the Borough.”
The next meeting is scheduled to take place in September when further information about alleviating some of the most congested areas will be unveiled as well as the work looking at the future shape of Colchester.