Colchester Borough Council Conservative Group welcomes the consultations on the St. Botolph's Circus and its associated traffic circulation.
Highways Spokesperson, Cllr Jackie Maclean said: "We are delighted that Essex County Council is committed to improving the area and funding is available to provide improvements to vehicular traffic, buses, pedestrians and cyclists along the A134 Southway corridor and St Botolph’s Circus. The roundabout is often congested with traffic and this will continue to worsen if improvements are not made.
The junction currently experiences significant congestion in the peak hours. A collision analysis found that most of the collisions in the study area were concentrated around St Botolph’s Circus roundabout. Safety for vulnerable road users within this area is poor. 11 of the 18 reported injury collisions involved pedestrians, pedal cyclists or powered two-wheeler users (such as motorcycles).
In addition, pedestrians and cyclists currently navigate the roundabout using a dangerous underpasses that are unappealing and the open space below the surface attracts antisocial behaviour."
Cllr Simon Crow, Conservative Borough Councillor for Castle Ward, which includes the Town Centre and St Botolphs circus, added "These proposed improvements to St Botolph’s Circus are critical to improving the infrastructure of Colchester. They will aim to improve congestion, reduce collisions as well as improving safety for residents and improving the aesthetics of the area and complement the heritage of the town."
The current plans include:
- Infill the roundabout and subways, ensuring the public artwork is preserved and moved to a suitable location
- Alter the shape and size of the island in the middle of the roundabout to increase carriageway capacity
- Provide an additional lane on the eastern and southern sides to maintain three lanes around the roundabout
- Install additional signals and a toucan crossing on the A134 Magdalen Street
- Improve the junction at the entrance to Colchester Magistrates’ Court and Colchester Town railway station
- Improve the surrounding streetscape by removing unnecessary street furniture and signage, upgrading footway surfacing, adding tree planting and feature lighting, and creating a series of pocket parks
Conservative Group Leader, Cllr Robert Davidson, said that it was good to see Conservatives again taking the lead on improving Colchester's infrastructure. The residents of Colchester would dearly like to know what are the Lib-Dem & Labour Coalition plans for Queen’s Street and the surrounding area. After 11 years in power at the Town Hall we are still waiting for the Coalition to make up its mind.