A CONTROVERSIAL shared cycle and footpath costing £750,000 has been delayed.

The 1.2km path in Mile End Road, Colchester, will not be completed until July 27. It was scheduled for completion in May. Essex County Council has revealed underground electricity cables need to be installed before the path can be finished.

Work started in March, when the council it said it would coordinate work with service cables being laid in Nayland Road and Mile End Road to reduce disruption.

It was yesterday unable to say when it was made aware of the need for cabling by company Triconex, or how much the work will add to the cost of the project.


Catherine Flack, of Mile End Road, Colchester, a freelance graphic designer, said: “They’re being incredibly slow. I’m not looking forward to the banging and crashing.

“Outside my house there’s a dropped kerb and I park sideways. What I’ve noticed as the work has come up they’ve left the dropped kerb but it’s still a pretty tight squeeze, which is part of the reason I objected to it being done.

“You also don’t expect to step onto the pavement and be hit by a cyclist, which nearly happened to me on Turner Road, and is a sign of things to come.”


Essex County Council says the path, from Bruff Close to Braiswick Lane, will improve provision for cyclists and pedestrians travelling between north Colchester and Colchester North train station.

Colchester Cycling Campaign and other protesters say the path is unsafe and the money could be better spent elsewhere.

Will Bramhill, planning officer of the Colchester Cycling Campaign, which lodged a formal complaint against the scheme, has called the authority “disingenuous”.

He said: “From a cycling point of view, this waste of money is really vexing. Any delay will push up the cost.

“If the three-month project goes over by a month, it would be reasonable to assume the cost would go up to £1million.

“We could have got a 20mph limit on Mile End Road, Mill Road and Nayland, which we wanted, for a third of this.

“It could be that, by the time it is opened, each household in Colchester will have contributed £13.88 to the path.

“This is very nearly a third of the increase in council tax Essex imposed this year.”


Martin Goss, borough councillor for Mile End, said: “We were told at the beginning of the work there would cables laid so this isn’t a surprise.

“I would ask the county council to be honest with people.

“At least, if they’re going to build this cycle lane nobody wants, they should be upfront with us about it.”

Rodney Bass, county councillor responsible for infrastructure, has defended the scheme, but admitted the new works are infuriating.

He said: “The last thing we want to see is a new surface being dug up following completion, so we’re extending the work schedule to accommodate before laying the final surface.

“It’s an important part of our £50 million investment into road, cycle and bus infrastructure across Colchester.

“However, we recognise and understand any work taking place causes disruption for which we apologise.

“I’m sure residents will appreciate it’s a common sense decision to avoid new works being dug up immediately.”