Town bids to solve its traffic problems

By James HoreA TOWN could have American-style yellow buses taking children to school and sharing car journeys to work as it tries to tackle traffic congestion.

By James Hore

A TOWN could have American-style yellow buses taking children to school and sharing car journeys to work as it tries to tackle traffic congestion.

Colchester's strategic partnership, known as Colchester 2020, launched yesterday FRI> its “travel plan club” with the aim of encouraging staff to think twice before getting in their cars to drive to work.

The five organisations which make up the club - Essex County Council, Colchester Borough Council, Colchester Garrison, Essex University and Essex Rivers Healthcare Trust - have more than 10,000 employees between them.


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They revealed numerous measures were being looked at, including discounted bus fares, websites to encourage car sharing, park-and-ride arrangements and shared school buses.

However, the travel plan club said the initiatives should not be viewed as “anti-car”.

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David Hewitt, of Essex Rivers Healthcare Trust, said it was consulting with staff about increased car sharing as well as stressing the need for cyclepaths linked to the hospital and all other areas of the town.

Tony Barton, commander of Colchester Garrison, added there should be a push for more buses during wet weather and for employers to provide shower facilities for staff who cycle to work.

Council leader, John Jowers, said part of the problem was caused by the fact Colchester was a town “designed for chariots, not cars”.

He added there was a need for the members of the travel club to lead by example and said: “This cannot be done in isolation, but has to be an integrated approach.”

The five organisations will begin working together from September and other organisations will be invited to join the travel club once it is up and running.

james.hore@eadt.co.uk

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