Designs show how new cycle route through Colchester would change busy road
DESIGN pictures show the extent of a new cycle route through Colchester city centre – which will see parking spaces on a busy road removed.
The parking bays on East Hill, Colchester, are set to be scrapped under an Essex County Council plan to connect the city centre to Essex University and Greenstead with an east-west route.
The plan will be funded through Colchester Council’s successful bid for £19.2 million under the Town Deal fund in 2021.
A public consultation held over the first stage of the route, which focuses on East Hill, with the scheme set to be delivered by 2025/26.
Essex Highways describes the route as a “walking and cycling corridor”, running from Colchester High Street, down East Hill, before crossing into the Moors at East Bay and heading to Haddon Park, the Hythe and Greenstead Road.
The route crosses Colne Causeway, where it will head to the university or through Greenstead.
Dedicated cycle lanes will be put in place on each side of East Hill, running the length of the road, while a zebra crossing will be installed.
Raised sections of road will be built at junctions with side roads, bringing the road up to the height o the pavement, “making it easier to cross and helping to slow vehicles”.
The plans add: “This can also improve accessibility for wheelchairs, prams and mobility scooters.”
The 30-minute parking bays on East Hill will be removed, “creating the width needed for the segregated cycleways”.
Essex Highways said it is looking to provide replacement parking “closer to the city centre, located near to the church”.
It added: “Parking provision will also still remain close by, with car parks off Roman Road and Priory Street.
“While the existing blue badge parking will be removed, double yellow lines still permit disabled car users to stop and park for short durations if needed.
“These lines also permit loading and unloading for deliveries and pick-ups and drop offs.”
New ‘floating’ bus stops would be put in place on East Hill, which would see the cycle route run between the pavement and the bus stop, keeping buses from crossing into cycle lanes.
The plans say these bus stops are “common” in the UK, including in places like London, Bristol, Norwich and Chelmsford.
At the bottom of East Hill, at the Guildford Road and Rosebery Avenue junction, Essex Highways is exploring the removal of the right turn lane into Rosebery Avenue.
While vehicles will still be allowed to turn right, the dedicated lane would be replaced with cycle lanes.
New signals would be programmed to give cyclists more time to cross the junction ahead of traffic.
The route turns on to East Bay, and at Haddon Park, the council is assessing the option of creating a path which continues alongside the river behind the adjacent properties or through the estate to the Hythe Bridge.
The proposal is to provide a shared pedestrian and cycleway over the bridge and introduce a set of three-way traffic lights to segregate the route, as the old bridge has reached the end of its useful life.
Turning onto Hythe Station Road, an eastbound bus gate is proposed at the junction with Hythe Quay.
This will extend the existing bus gate restrictions further to the west to create the space needed for the cycleway provisions and will mean general traffic will not be able to travel eastbound on Hythe Station Road and Hawkins Road.
From Hythe Station Road, cyclists will be able to access Route 51 by turning on to Hawkins Road and continue on Route Four by turning right onto Greenstead Road.
This will allow crossing Greenstead Road so cyclists can continue along the route on to Colne Causeway where a new toucan crosses to access Elmstead Road and the university campus.
The route will also ultimately connect with the proposed new rapid transit system at Greenstead roundabout, linking into the new garden community network.
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