CYCLING experts have hit out at plans to build 135 new homes off one of Colchester’s most dangerous roads.

Persimmon Homes Essex wants to build the new estate on farmland off Berechurch Hall Road, Colchester, which is allocated for homes in the council’s Local Plan.

Data from the Safer Essex Roads Partnership shows there were ten smashes in the street in 2019, up from just two the previous year.

Four of those crashes were deemed serious with cyclists, pedestrians and children all being hurt on the road.

Colchester Cycling Campaign has criticised the developer’s plans for the site, saying more needs to be done to promote safe active travel in the area.

The group said: “The developers plan no crossings across Berechurch Hall Road and, following the stage one safety audit, they will only be considered for inclusion and may only be informal.

“This is despite the fact almost all of the development’s local amenities, including two primary schools, sit on the other side of the road.

“It is hard to see how this is an acceptable level of provision, especially when Colchester Council’s concept plan for the site envisioned three crossings.

“Proposed facilities for cyclists on the site are limited but, more importantly, there are no links to the existing network.

“This cuts off all but the most experienced cyclists from the schools and amenities to the north of the site, the town centre and the rest of Colchester.”

The group has requested a raft of changes are made to the proposals before they move forward.

They want the development connected to the cycle network, improvements to the junctions at Layer Road and Berechurch Road, toucan crossings installed and the speed limit on a stretch of Berechurch Hall reduced to 20 miles an hour.

They said: “That the cycling provision is so poor makes a mockery of such statements as the proposed site is located in an accessible location by public transport as well as walking and cycling routes which litter the documents.

A spokesman for Persimmon Homes Essex said: “Persimmon Homes are aware of the consultee comments made. We will work with the Highways Authority to ensure our development proposals are fully compliant with the required standards and provide offsite highway works that are deemed necessary to mitigate the impact of our development proposals.”

Colchester Council will have the final say on the plans.