Essex town in new rail travel plan

AN innovative travel plan for an Essex town will propel its services into the 21st century and lead to both sort and long term improvements, it was claimed last night.

Elliot Furniss

AN innovative travel plan for an Essex town will propel its services into the 21st century and lead to both sort and long term improvements, it was claimed last night.

Rail passengers who use Colchester Station will be asked to contribute to the project - which aims to make the site more accessible.

It is one of just 24 stations around the country that has been picked for the Government travel plan pilot programme.


You may also want to watch:


A number of surveys are now being carried out to discover how and why people are currently travelling to the station and to find out how traffic, cyclists and pedestrians utilise the transport network in the surrounding area.

The assessment has been welcomed by one rail users' group that hopes the station can be brought up to scratch to meet the demands of the 21st century traveller.

Most Read

Graham Male, chairman of Colchester Rail Users' Association, said he was hopeful the pilot could lead to a much-needed upgrade of the outdated site.

“Hopefully we should see some immediate or interim improvements and some major long-term plans to improve the overall area around the station,” he said. “We have a layout that was built in the 1960s and passenger numbers have risen by a considerable amount since. The station, as it is, is not fit for purpose and this is a plan that will hopefully lead to some changes.”

Following the consultation with station users, Colchester Borough Council, train operator National Express and Essex County Council will begin to form the Travel Plan, developing possible improvements for the station and its locality.

Norman Hume, Essex County Council's head of transport, said the survey would benefit all those who use the station and asked commuters and residents to stop and answer the questions if they have the time.

He said: “The Station Travel Plan Pilot and the Cycling Town project are two exciting initiatives which will see Colchester becoming one of the most forward looking and sustainable transport towns in the country and we need people to engage as much as possible to achieve the maximum benefit and ultimately improve the quality of all of our lives.”

Paul Wilkinson, Colchester Borough Council's transportation policy manager, said the station was a “key gateway” to both the town and the region.

He said: “We encourage everyone to participate as the more information we can gather about their movements to and from the station, the better informed we will be to improve their travel experience.”

The online survey can be found at www.stationtravelplans.com/survey.

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