COLCHESTER Council is formally objecting to plans to scrap a well-used town centre pedestrian crossing.

Essex County Council wants do away with the crossing at the top of North Hill to speed the progress of the town’s new park and ride buses.

County Hall claims the the crossing, at the top of the hill and the High Street is holding up buses.

It gave the borough council and residents just two weeks to give their views on its plans.

Colchester Council’s response objects to the change, saying County Hall has not made a strong enough case and criticising the consultation process.

Colchester Council officers carried out a snap survey and counted 640 people using the crossing in a single hour–mostly students at Colchester Sixth Form College, on North Hill.

In his formal letter of objection, Nick Barlow, Colchester councillor responsible for street services, says: “The crossing is well used by students, people using the post office, shops, pubs and restaurants on North Hill and the Head Street area.

“The town centre is a place where the movement of people on foot is to be expected, and people need to cross the road. The North Hill-Head Street junction is a natural focal point for access into the High Street.

“The crossing is in a logical place, requires only crossing the road once and the footways at the remaining crossing point in Head Street are very narrow.

“With high pedestrian flows, this will create problems for those in wheelchairs, those with prams and mobility impairments and other users.”

A county council spokesman said each response to the plans would be examined before a decision was made, after the consultation closes today.