CONGESTION in the area around a popular supermarket has become so bad shoppers are abandoning their cars and walking home, according to a senior councillor.

Martin Goss (Lib Dem), who represents Mile End on Colchester Council said the amount of traffic around the Asda in Turner Rise, Colchester, has been higher than ever before in recent weeks and wants the council, bus companies, train operators and Essex County Council to join forces to try and tackle the problem.

Speaking to Colchester Council's cabinet on Wednesday, Mr Goss said the problem was occurring all over the town and he believes working together is the only way to solve it.

He said: "I'm growing exceedingly concerned about congestion in the town, particularly from my own personal experience of the area around the North Station area and the carnage which has been seen there for the last few weekends.

"Traffic is regularly gridlocked and cars cannot get out of Asda.

"People are actually leaving their cars and walking home from the supermarket.

"We need to get Essex County Council to work with us to do something.

"Although they are the ones ultimately responsible and holding the purse strings, it has to be about partnership working and we are all in this together.

"We need to work with bus companies to make fares cheaper and encourage people to use public transport, and speak to Greater Anglia about running more services into town.

"It is a huge issue not just in Mile End but across Colchester."

Mr Goss said he would table a motion for the issue to be discussed at a full council meeting later this year, and even suggested an extraordinary meeting could be called and a task and finish group set up to try and start tackling the problem.

Council leader Paul Smith (Lib Dem) said he would write to his counterpart David Finch (Con) to discuss how to improve things.

He said: "It is something everybody is concerned about.

"I think a collaborative approach is the best way forward and I have to say one of the issues has come about because of infrastructure which was built before the houses.

"This council is looking at doing development differently so we do not create problems like ones we have inherited."