Funding boost aims to improve journeys across Colchester

Motorists, pedestrians and cyclists are set to benefit from funding to support schemes making it easier and smoother to travel across the borough as part of an agreement between Colchester Borough Council and Essex County Council (ECC).

Both councils have agreed to put an additional £100,000 each this year into the Colchester Local Highways Panel – the joint body between Colchester Borough Council and ECC responsible for recommending and prioritising highway schemes in the borough.

With the panel currently having an annual budget of around £500,000 it means this year it will have £700,000 to invest in schemes such as junction improvements, 20mph zones, and cycleway enhancements.

A total of 32 schemes have already been agreed to be carried out by the end of March 2019, with a further 72 traffic management, rights of way and passenger transport schemes totalling nearly £180,000 already in the pipe line for 2019/2020.

In addition to the extra money being invested it has been agreed the panel will meet in Colchester rather than Chelmsford, where the meetings of the county’s 12 Local Highways Panels are normally held. This will help provide a greater local focus on the improvements needed and their potential solutions.

The agreement supports the aims of Colchester Borough Council’s plan to make Colchester an attractive place to live, work and visit. This plan forms the basis of the Better Colchester campaign launched earlier this month.

Colchester Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Waste, Sustainability and Transportation, Cllr. Martin Goss, said: “Our objective is to ensure that people are able to travel across the borough as smoothly and safely as possible.

“This agreement with ECC is a fantastic step forward in ensuring Colchester residents and businesses get the highways network they deserve.”

Cllr. Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader of Essex County Council and Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, said: “I am delighted that Colchester Borough Council is match funding Essex County Council’s additional monies to support Local Highways Panel schemes. The investment will help to improve roads across the borough, making travelling safer and easier for those who live and work here.”

Among the work currently scheduled to be undertaken through the Colchester Local Highways Panel are:

  • Junction improvements at Brinkley Grove Road and Mill Road
  • Designing a 20mph zone with physical traffic calming features near Braiswick Primary School
  • The design and implementation of footway link in Rowhedge High Street
  • Carrying out a feasibility study to investigate improvements to the signing and visibility at the Maldon Road junction with Warren Lane