Colchester Conservatives welcomed the announcement by Government of the initial tranche of £1.9million for the Emergency Active Travel Fund for Essex schemes, to make the streets in principal Town Centres safer, greener and healthier.

During the recovery from the COVID 19 pandemic, the Colchester scheme will allow people to self-distance and still travel safely by creating new lanes for cycling and walking around the Town Centre. The aim of the scheme is to provide bigger, safer spaces for town centre shoppers, residents, workers and visitors to be able to social distance. It will encourage walking and cycling it will enable healthier and greener ways of getting around.

The launch date for this revolution in motion is set for Monday 15th June, with activity taking place in the town from Tuesday 9th June. The project will ensure areas of the Town Centre with some of the highest footfall are safe and healthy places to move through, following the easing of lock-down restrictions and the re-opening of shops and businesses.

  • A series of interim traffic measures in Colchester to create more shared space for walking and cycling will be introduced starting from 15th June.
  • 20mph limits, temporary barriers and signs providing shared spaces will be introduced on the High Street, Queen Steet/St Botolph’s, Head Street, St Johns Street and other town centre roads, and on the vital corridor between the main rail station and town centre, including North Station Road and North Hill.

Councillor Kevin Bentley, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, and Conservative Councillor for Marks Tey and Layer Ward, said: “We have responded directly to people’s safety and their lead in increasing the use of cycle lands and pavements. While I recognise that many people will still need to use their cars this is a chance for people to think hard about driving over short distances. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to greatly improve our air quality and our health as well as the life opportunities for the next generation”.

Cllr Paul Dundas, Conservative Group Leader at Colchester, and Ward Councillor for Stanway, added:  “I welcome these plans and congratulate Essex County Council in being so pro-active and quick in their use of the Government-backed scheme. We want to see people returning to our Town using our local businesses, but in a safe manner. The extra space created will enable this.”

Conservatives believe that walking and cycling are healthy activities in their own right and can help lessen traffic congestion and consequently improve air quality in the Borough. This is what we will deliver.