ONE of Colchester town centre’s busiest streets is set to close for five days with drivers facing a 2.5 mile diversion route to navigate the closure.

Notorious pollution and congestion hotspot Brook Street will be closed to traffic during the day from Monday to next Friday so the pavements can be repaired.

Whilst the closures are in place, between 9.30am and 2.30pm each day, drivers heading towards New Town or the south of the town centre will be directed on to Greenstead Road and over the East Gates railway crossing.

The diversion route then goes on to St Andrew’s Avenue before taking the A134 and Colne Causeway through Hythe.

It then follows the A134 up Hythe Hill and towards the town centre or the opposite end of Brook Street.

The route is 3.8km, or almost 2.5 miles, long and will be in operation in both directions.

Last time the road was closed in 2016, traffic queued for miles to get across the town.

The new Brook Street closure is also being implemented at the same time as one lane in nearby Ipswich Road is closed for repairs to Cowdray Bridge.

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An Essex Highways spokesperson said: “The pavements in Brook Street are well-used and are worn and damaged in places.

“Therefore we are carrying out a full repair and improvement.

“Crews will patch the pavements to level them and will then use slurry sealing to quickly spread a hard-wearing waterproof top layer to provide an even, slip-resistant surface that should last for years.

“We have to close the somewhat narrow road to ensure safety, particularly for the staff working there, but also to allow machinery to be deployed.”

Pedestrians and emergency vehicles will still be allowed access and an Essex Highways spokesman said urgent deliveries would be managed.

Brook Street, Colchester, open on Friday after nine weeks of being shut..


Traffic using Brook Street is often bumper to bumper making the road notorious for having high pollution levels.

The most recent audit found it had 50.5 micrograms per cubic metre of air.

The average level must be below 40 to meet Government air quality targets, the limit deemed safe by the World Health Organisation.

The audit found 12 places in Colchester where the average level of nitrogen dioxide exceeded 40 with the worst offending location being Mersea Road where one section gave a reading of 52.4.

Essex Highways says cones and barriers will be removed outside of working hours of 9.30am and 2.30pm.

The spokesman added: “Pedestrians can use the road during the closures and emergency services will have access at all times.

“If residents do need urgent deliveries or other access to their property, our staff will ensure that is managed, but there may be some delays while machinery and equipment is moved.”

Back in 2016 there was huge disruption as Brook Street was closed for two months for £440,000 works to change the mini roundabout into traffic lights.