Colchester: Backlash over High Street car ban plan

A SCHEME to ban cars from Colchester High Street has come under fire from business leaders and charity groups.

New Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) were advertised last week, detailing plans preventing cars and delivery vehicles from using the High Street from 10am to 6pm.

Access restrictions will also be introduced on neighbouring streets including Head Street and North Hill.

The plans are part of the Better Town Centre programme, a partnership project between Essex County Council and Colchester Borough Council.

The aim is to improve the pedestrian environment and reduce traffic across the town centre.

But the move has prompted a fierce backlash from the community.

Age UK Colchester is calling for both councils to abandon the plans, fearing it will have disastrous consequences for blue badge holders.

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Trustee Peter Simpson said: “These orders need to be abandoned and there should be fresh consultation before we sail into a disaster of Titanic proportions for our High Street.

“There are ways in which we can stop the through traffic and yet give blue badge holders and delivery lorries reasonable access so that our High Street Shops, many of which are small family businesses, are able to thrive.”

Iain Wicks, from Essex Federation of Small Businesses, said: “By banning delivery vehicles the end result could well see businesses unable to restock and some independent retailers even forced out of business.”