ESSEX County Council has vowed to press ahead with its controversial Mile End Road cycle scheme – but its opponents say they have not given up their fight yet.

Colchester Cycling Campaign says the scheme will be unsafe, goes against the council’s own cycling policies and represents poor value for money.

The campaign's vice-chairman, Paul Avison, and Will Bramhill, planning officer, lodged an official complaint to Gavin Jones, chief executive of Essex County Council, about the safety and legality of the scheme.

They subsequently received a letter from Chris Doe, corporate and customer services officer at the council, on behalf of Mr Jones, which said: “The Mile End Road cycle scheme is one of a number of allocations Essex County Council were successful in securing funding from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) for, and is part of a programme of significant investment in Colchester.

“Your comments have been noted by our Transportation, Planning and Development Team however, they are confident the scheme is being delivered in accordance with the requirements that the funding was secured through."

He added: “If you wish to seek a 20mph speed restriction then this can be pursued via your elected representatives for consideration."

Mr Bramhill hit back at the council and said the development, at a cost of £750,000, is part of what will be a very poor cycle infrastructure.

The group has criticised the shared facility, which it feels will endanger both pedestrians and cyclists, and goes against Essex Council’s own cycling strategy and design guide.

Mr Bramhill said: “Their response shows they haven’t got answers. They’ve just ignored all the points we made and totally ignored best practice and equality law, and their own safety auditor.

“We’ll be taking our complaint to the Department for Transport, national audit office and local government ombudsman.

“All along we’ve been willing to help the council so they should be making use of us, but they’re not. They have this vision pedestrians and cyclists can coexist, but to persuade people out of their car there needs to be high-quality provision.

“What we have currently makes for a lot of conflict.”