Trader's road plan challenge to council
A TOWN centre shopkeeper has called on borough councillors to have the conviction to put through ambitious plans to get traffic moving again.Proposals are being considered for a one-way system on the arterial roads as traffic bosses attempt to reduce the number of cars using the town centre as a through route.
A TOWN centre shopkeeper has called on borough councillors to have the conviction to put through ambitious plans to get traffic moving again.
Proposals are being considered for a one-way system on the arterial roads as traffic bosses attempt to reduce the number of cars using the town centre as a through route.
But Steve Miller, of Miller Stationery in St Botolph's Street, said the same loop system had been proposed in 1976 and called for the plans to finally go ahead.
Under the changes drivers who want to go through Colchester town centre would only be able to enter via Headgate and Head Street.
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All traffic, apart from public transport, would have to leave the town centre by Queen Street and St Botolph's Street.
North Hill would become one-way, with traffic going downhill, while East Hill would be open to public transport only.
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Mr Miller said the town's shops were losing out because people were opting for places such as Lakeside at Thurrock to spend their money.
He said: "In 1976 the proactive council and officers proposed the same loop system of traffic control in the town centre now being regarded as new and radical by the present councillors – where is the continuity?
"I think businesses are fed up with the current situation – the perception is that it is improving but not as planned in 1976. The council cannot get to grips with the town centre. They have been voted in with a mandate to get on with things and need to do so."
Mr Miller, who has had shops in the town for 37 years, called for better management of the current situation but added shoppers using cars needed to be patient during busy times.
Last week Colchester Borough Council Labour leader, Tim Young, warned the plans could be a "recipe for confusion and disaster."
He said: "We should consult with people about making High Street completely pedestrianised instead of tinkering around with half-hearted proposals."
But Richard Gower, transport cabinet member for the council, said there was a commitment to the plans but there was a need for consultation.
He said: "It depends on a number of things including the St Botolph's redevelopment. You can't sort out the historic core without doing things about Cymbeline Way and Southway also.
"There is lots of funding needed from Essex County Council and Central Government grants. It will take time and we do need to consult."