Multi-million pound funding bid made for Colchester bypass linking A120 and A133

An eerial image of Essex University's Wivenhoe campus. The new link road would run from the road (ce

An eerial image of Essex University's Wivenhoe campus. The new link road would run from the road (centre) off to the left of the image towards the A120. Picture: ABOVE ALL IMAGES/IAN HAY - Credit: Archant

A multi-million pound bid has been made by Essex councils to fund a new Colchester bypass, it has been revealed.

Essex County Council, alongside Colchester borough and Tendring district councils, has applied to the government for money to build a link road between the A120 and the A133 around east Colchester.

Mooted for many years, the road has been deemed a vital part of a new proposed garden community on the Colchester/Tendring border, close to Crockleford Heath and Elmstead Market.

Now it has been revealed that the road would likely form the eastern boundary of the new settlement, although no precise route has been drawn up. It could also act as a relief route should the A120 be closed between Colchester and Horsley Cross, shortening the length of road which would need to be shut.

No figure for the amount bid for has been released, as the information is deemed commercially sensitive, but it is understood the figure requested is to cover construction, not just a feasibility study.

It is understood the bid, made to the Department for Communities and Local Government’s £2.3billion Housing Infrastructure Fund in October, is for “millions” of pounds.

A second Park and Ride site for Colchester could also be built, if the garden village gets the go-ahead, likely to be close to the new road’s junction with the A133. This would enable the buses to potentially use the University of Essex bus gate to beat traffic on Clingoe Hill – a notorious jam spot – into the town centre.

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The garden village is part of Colchester and Tendring’s draft Local Plans, which are currently out for consultation.

Paul Smith, Colchester Borough Council leader and a director of the North Essex Garden Communities Ltd, said: “The link road is a vital piece of infrastructure because it’s one of the ways to reduce congestion that we see on Clingoe Hill, providing a route for traffic coming from Wivenhoe, Brightlingsea and further afield to the A120 and onwards to Ipswich or London.

“It would also improve access to the university, alleviating traffic pressure on Colchester town centre.

“It has been mooted for decades and has never happened.

“We would not want the road through the middle of the new community, and the western edge would pretty much be Clingoe Hill anyway.

“We are already seeking funding, and it’s the sort of project that would be right up the priority list as part of a garden community.”

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