£100m secured for north Essex infrastructure

£100m secured for north Essex infrastructure

Essex County Council (ECC) has signed the final contract to secure almost £100m from the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) for new transport infrastructure in Colchester and Tendring.

The recent contract signing with Homes England – the agency responsible for awarding money from the fund – follows the initial announcement of the £99.9m funding last year.

In a welcome boost to the local economy, the funding will support the design and delivery of the new Colchester Rapid Transit System (RTS) and a new Link Road between the A120 and A133.

Cllr David King, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Business and Resources, said: “It is great news that we have the agreement in place for this funding. It is a huge step in our drive to bring more sustainable transport infrastructure to North Essex.

The RTS will see an unprecedented investment in public transport in Colchester, linking key destinations across the town through the creation of a transit corridor. It will offer fast and regular services from the Park and Ride on the A12, through the town to the new Garden Community and ultimately a transport hub located off the new Link Road.

The link road also forms a key part of the new Garden Community and is being designed in collaboration with Colchester Borough and Tendring District Councils to ensure it complements and forms part of the development as it grows, as well as providing an integrated network of cycling and walking routes.

Sophie White, Homes England’s Director of Infrastructure Grants, said: “We are committed to working with ambitious local authority partners seeking to meet their local housing needs through delivery of key infrastructure.

“Our multi-million pound funding will secure delivery of the new Colchester Rapid Transit System and Link Road, unlocking Colchester and Tendring’s Garden Community and delivering 7,500 new sustainable homes. We’re delighted that this investment will also help Essex County Council to invest in sustainable forms of transport, boosting the local economy and supporting jobs in the area.”

The Link Road and RTS are both due to be operational by 2024 in line with the first phase of the Garden Community.

A central part of Colchester and Tendring’s Local Plans, the Garden Community will bring forward substantial amounts of new business premises to support the town’s economy at the same time as delivering 7,500 new sustainable homes, a new country park, new schools and health centres to ensure the development brings about real benefits to the local area.

A public engagement programme will form a key part of the work on the garden community, and in turn inform the planning and development work.

In addition to this investment ECC is in currently in ongoing discussions with Homes England and other stakeholders to secure a £218m grant funding award for the North East Chelmsford Bypass and new Beaulieu Park Railway Station.

For more information on the scheme and to register for updates visit the Essex Highways website.

Last updated 2 December 2020