New road set to ease traffic nightmare
THE journey to end Colchester's traffic nightmare is set to take another inch forward with the opening of a long-awaited stretch of new road.A grand ceremony on June 26 will herald the opening of the second phase of the major redevelopment of the Northern Approach Road for Colchester.
THE journey to end Colchester's traffic nightmare is set to take another inch forward with the opening of a long-awaited stretch of new road.
A grand ceremony on June 26 will herald the opening of the second phase of the major redevelopment of the Northern Approach Road for Colchester.
The second part of the road is meant to provide a high quality one-mile link between the North Station roundabout and the A134 Nayland Road/Boxted Road roundabout thus avoiding the need to pass through residential areas in Mile End.
Built in three phases, the first stage involved the widening of North Station bridge and a new roundabout at the Asda supermarket with the final part, a new road connecting Mill Road junction to a new junction on the A12, due to be considered by Colchester Borough Council this summer.
Stress levels for both motorists and local retailers have soared during the second stage's construction with many shopkeepers along Mile End Road fearing they will lose up to 50% of their passing trade as people take the new route.
But Essex County Council, which, along with Colchester Borough Council, has supervised the private construction of the project, claimed the benefits of the new route would soon be realised with access to Colchester General Hospital, Turner Rise Retail Park and Colchester North Station greatly improved.
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It also said previously used roads such as Mile End Road would become safer because of the introduction of bus gates forcing the redirection of freight lorries.
Leader of Colchester Borough Council Colin Sykes said he had "great sympathy" for people who have until now suffered a "building site" outside their homes in the Mile End area, but said the new road was "great news" for Colchester.
He said: "I feel sorry for all the people who have had to suffer delays while this work has been going on.
"But now I hope there will be a rapid fall in traffic congestion. It will clearly be an advantage for the people living in the residential areas as traffic is diverted away.
"It will also mean more room for shoppers to park their cars if they need to visit the shops in Mile End Road."
Myland parish councillor Dick Agate said the issue of the road had "split the village in half".
He said: "We are planning to make known our feelings at the grand opening, but it's fair to say people are really divided on this issue – we'll just have to wait and see whether it does take traffic away from us."