Essex County Council is investing £50 million on road, cycle and bus schemes to boost Colchester’s infrastructure so that it can cope with housing and business growth.
In the next five years, the Council plans to carry out a number of schemes including improving the main A133 west to east route through the town incorporating Colne Bank Avenue, Cowdray Avenue and St Andrew’s Avenue.
Other projects include replacing pedestrian bridges on Balkerne Hill and at Leisure World with wider bridges suitable for cyclists and pedestrians and improving cycle routes around the town.
Changes planned to speed up bus journey times through the town include junction and traffic light alterations in the High Street and bus stop improvements in High Street and Head Street.
These planned improvements follow on from extensive work that has already been completed to tackle congestion and growth in the town including Colchester Park and Ride and associated bus priority measures, Via Urbis Romanae, the Wivenhoe to University of Essex cycle link and Brook Street/East Hill junction.
Total investment in Colchester by Essex County Council, including funding obtained from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, is about £50 million. In addition the Council has given the Local Highways Panel £4 million in the last four years which has been spent on schemes such as cycling and walking initiatives, safety schemes, highway improvements, public rights of way and passenger transport improvements.
Cllr Rodney Bass, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, said: “We are making a much-needed major investment in Colchester’s infrastructure which currently is not able to cope with predicted growth in the borough. I apologise for any disruption caused to residents, but in the long term, these schemes will create a transport network in Colchester fit for the future.”
As each project nears a start date, Essex County Council will be working closely with nearby residents and businesses to let them know about roadworks and diversions in their area, as well as keeping the wider public informed via the press and social media.
Residents and visitors to the town could consider alternative routes or methods of transport to avoid disruption, such as the Colchester Park and Ride, which takes ten to 15 minutes to get into the town centre.