Views on reducing traffic nightmare

AMBITIOUS ideas to alleviate traffic "hell" in Colchester, including the introduction of flyovers on the town's key route, are being examined by experts.

AMBITIOUS ideas to alleviate traffic "hell" in Colchester, including the introduction of flyovers on the town's key route, are being examined by experts.

It is hoped the changes on the A133, which include Cowdray Avenue and all junctions between the Greenstead roundabout and the Colne Bank roundabout, will allow traffic to move freely and reduce current tensions faced by drivers.

If successful, the design, which is in its early stages, would increase the capacity of the junctions and could then lead to sections of the road being dualled to increase traffic flow.

But drivers, who have grown used to long queues throughout busy periods of the day, will probably not witness the changes for several years yet.

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Yesterday, it emerged that possibilities range from minor changes, such as altering traffic light signals, through to the possibility of flyovers - felt to be one of the best ways of getting traffic moving again.

The joint operation by Essex county and Colchester borough councillors has benefited from the use of a high-tech programme which is able to predict the traffic flow from possible solutions by creating real life situations.

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Christopher Arnold, Colchester borough councillor cabinet member with responsibilities for transport, said nothing had been ruled in or out, but he hoped the changes would give back the old bypass.

"I would like Colchester to have the A133 back as its bypass as it was in the 1960s, but we also need to ensure the changes will benefit the town's regeneration projects.

"We are looking at what the options are for changing the layout of the junctions and considering how bus routes can be improved – all to ensure there is less traffic going through the town.

"This is a really nice place but moving around is hell at times."

He added there were a lot of benefits to be gained by remodelling junctions and also the possibility of adding an extra lane to the Colne Bank section of the road.

Yesterday, one of the officers at Colchester Borough Council said the option to dual the road could only be considered once the improvements had been made to all the junctions.

"We are looking at the junctions first as some of them physically can not take any more cars on them at busy times of the day – so it is about improving the capacity.

"There is a need to simplify the junctions and we are producing tailored solutions for each case."

She said they would address the current day problems before moving on to the potential traffic changes caused by regeneration projects in the town.

Changes to be considered include:

n The junctions to be looked at as part of the A133 transport plan are the Greenstead, Ipswich Road, Harwich Road and the Albert roundabouts, as well as the Colne Bank roundabout below North Station.

n The traffic flow at the link between the Avenue of Remembrance and Cymbeline Way will also be reduced, with dualling a possible solution.

n An additional lane being added to the Colne Bank section of the A133.

n Changes to the system of traffic lights near to Leisure World on Cowdray Avenue.

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