MP wants repairs to medieval wall

AN MP has demanded answers about why repairs have not been carried out to a medieval wall in the heart of the oldest recorded town in the country.

James Hore

AN MP has demanded answers about why repairs have not been carried out to a medieval wall in the heart of the oldest recorded town in the country.

Concerns were raised last year after large corrugated iron sheets were fixed to the Abbey Wall in Colchester in a bid to stop it crumbling into Mersea Road.

In recent weeks, roadworks have been carried out in the area of Napier Road - close to the wall, and according to Colchester MP Bob Russell it has been the perfect opportunity to carry out the repairs he says are needed to the wall.

He added: “For the past month, while roadworks have been carried out at the junction with Napier Road, traffic movements in Mersea Road have been severely curtailed and in effect it has been a one-way street.

“Why, then, has the opportunity not been taken to carry out repairs to the Abbey Wall?

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“Or are the authorities going to wait until the roadworks are finished - and then come back to stop the traffic again while repairs are carried out to the wall?

“Some joined-up thinking between the various agencies, councils and others involved would ensure a common-sense solution for the Wall to be repaired at the same time as the roadworks are taking place. Why has this not happened?”

Mr Russell said that he had now written again to Essex County Council urging them to co-ordinate repairs to the Abbey Wall as a “matter of urgency” so the work is done before the roadworks are completed.

“Last year I made representations to English Heritage over the ugly appearance of the Medieval Abbey Wall on which sheets of corrugated iron had been fixed in several places because the wall, which is of historic importance, is in a state of poor repair.

“I was assured that repair work would be carried out - and similar assurances were given by Essex County Highways when I wrote to them last summer, but nothing has been done.”

But a spokesman for Essex County Council said it was not their responsibility to provide upkeep for the wall.

He said: “If the wall is in danger of toppling into the road, then we would carry out emergency repairs.

“The only works we would carry out would be to make it safe.”

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