HUNDREDS of thousands of pounds have been set aside to improve Colchester’s roads.

NEW road schemes are set to get underway after hundreds of thousands of pounds was approved to be pumped into improving highways in Colchester.

Colchester Council and Essex County Council have struck a deal to each put in an extra £100,000 into the Local Highways Panel, which has already been allocated £500,000

It means the junction between Brinkley Grove Road and Mill Road can be improved and a 20 mph zone introduced outside Braiswick Primary School.

Martin Goss, Colchester councillor responsible for transportation, said: “Our objective is to ensure that people are able to travel across the borough as smoothly and safely as possible.

“This agreement with Essex County Council is a fantastic step forward in ensuring Colchester residents and businesses get the highways network they deserve.

“I am delighted we have come up with a way we can work closer together to provide even more highway initiatives across the borough.”

The council boss added: “It also shows the commitment we have on delivering on our ambitious plans to create a better Colchester.”

Thanks to the extra cash, the panel will now have £700,000 to spend this year.

Other schemes which will be able to go ahead include a footway link in Rowhedge High Street, surveying cyclists and pedestrians who use Spring Lane roundabout and investigating improvements to signs at the Maldon Road and Warren Lane junction.

A total of 32 schemes have already been agreed to be carried out by the end of March 2019, with a further 72 traffic management, rights of way and passenger transport schemes totalling nearly £180,000 already in the pipe line for 2019/2020.

It has also been agreed the panel will meet in Colchester rather than Chelmsford - which was previously a bone of contention - where the meetings of the county’s 12 Local Highways Panels are normally held.

The two authorities said the agreement supports the aims of Colchester Council’s two-year action plan to make Colchester a more attractive place to live, work and visit.

Kevin Bentley, deputy leader of Essex County Council and cabinet member for Infrastructure, said: “I am delighted that Colchester Borough Council is match funding Essex County Council’s additional monies to support Local Highways Panel schemes.

“The investment will help to improve roads across the borough, making travelling safer and easier for those who live and work here.”

Colchester Council also hopes to create a new body, labelled Transport for Colchester, which would see a closer relationship between the authority, Essex County Council and bus and train operators.