Fears development will bring road chaos

By Ted JeoryCONCERNS have been raised a major regeneration project in an historic town will clog up already-congested roads.Essex County Council's cabinet added its voice yesterday to the growing worries about the effect on public transport of the redevelopment of the St Botolph's quarter of Colchester.

By Ted Jeory

CONCERNS have been raised a major regeneration project in an historic town will clog up already-congested roads.

Essex County Council's cabinet added its voice yesterday to the growing worries about the effect on public transport of the redevelopment of the St Botolph's quarter of Colchester.

Under the project drawn up by Colchester Borough Council, the Queen Street bus station will be closed and a new interchange created in Osborne Street


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The cabinet broadly welcomed the multi-million-pound project, which includes a new visual arts facility for the town, but felt transport issues needed further thought.

A report by Peter Martin, the cabinet member for planning, enterprise and regeneration, said: “The proposals for the bus interchange are inadequate as currently shown.

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“Work is being done to establish in detail what is needed, but results to date show that the site identified on existing public highway will not be large enough to cope with demand.

“There are concerns about the impact on the congested Brook Street, Magdalen Street and St Botolph's roundabout. It will be difficult to accommodate all of these demands in limited highway space.”

Mr Martin added it was “crucial” to ensure there was proper provision for the number of buses in the town and there was one focal point capable of handling the town's passengers.

Bob Russell, the MP for Colchester, said he welcomed the county council's comments and added: “A way should be found to retain the bus station at Queen Street.”

Ian Vipond, head of environmental policy at Colchester Borough Council, said the county council's input was positive.

“We're delighted that they are supporting us. We appreciate that there's lots of detailed work to be done on transport issues and we have been working on them since the masterplan was drawn up,” he added.

ted.jeory@eadt.co.uk

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