Safety plan for double tragedy road

A BUSY road which claimed the lives of two young students within a year is to be given a new pedestrian crossing to prevent more tragedies.

Elliot Furniss

A BUSY road which claimed the lives of two young students within a year is to be given a new pedestrian crossing to prevent more tragedies.

Essex University undergraduates Richard Watson, 22, and Robert Plumber, 20, were both killed when they were hit by cars on Clingoe Hill, Colchester.

Talented sportsman Mr Watson, died in June 2006 and then last April sociology student Mr Plumber, 20, died on the same stretch of dual carriageway close to the campus.


You may also want to watch:


Mr Watson's parents, John and Jenny, who live near Dereham, joined the calls for a cut in the 70mph speed limit and for safer facilities for people trying to cross the busy road.

It has now emerged that Essex County Council is starting work on a new signal controlled crossing to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists.

Most Read

The new crossing will also serve the university's research park when it goes ahead and the council has pledged it will be “in place soon”.

The council hopes it will be more convenient than the existing one at the Greenstead roundabout because it is on the direct route to the university campus from nearby student housing.

The speed limit on the stretch will also be cut to 50mph.

Bernard Jenkin, North Essex MP, campaigned for safety improvements and welcomed the news.

He said: “This is extremely good news and I know it may seem a long time since the last dreadful accident but in fact the county council have moved very quickly on this. I hope this will prevent a repeat of past tragedies.”

Councillor Norman Hume, in charge of highways and transportation, said: “I am aware of the tragedy this stretch of road has seen recently and I immediately asked for a review of the situation when I learnt of these accidents.

“I hope and expect these improvements to help us make this stretch of road safer for pedestrians and cyclists.”

An Essex University spokeswoman said: “The university is pleased that Essex County Council has approved a new pedestrian crossing for Clingoe Hill.

“The university and students' union have, for many years, jointly campaigned for greater road safety measures for this very busy stretch of dual carriageway which is crossed frequently by our students.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter