COLCHESTER’S first park and ride will finally open in autumn 2014.

Essex County Council will start seeking a contractor to build a 1,000 space facility on the £3.4 million site at Cuckoo Farm this spring, and the project will take 18 months.

Action is being taken after a provisional agreement was finally reached with landowners to build a £10 million road linking the north of Colchester with A12 junction 28 and the forthcoming park and ride.

Construction work is due to start this summer and be completed by summer 2014. Both projects were due to be up and running by the end of this year.

But Derrick Louis, councillor responsible for highways at Essex County Council, revealed a planned bus lane running along the Northern Approach Road will not be built in the near future.

See Monday's Gazette for an exclusive special report.