Next week will mark one year since the car ban started - so we asked you want you thought of the ban 12 months on.

The rules were introduced to increase space for pedestrians and enable social distancing as retailers reopened following the first national lockdown.

Buses, taxis, blue badge holders, delivery drivers, cyclists and motorbikes are still able to use the High Street, but general traffic is not.

Many felt the restrictions had not been policed sufficiently.

Kieran Clarke said: “I’m not sure that many drivers see the signs to be honest. Just like the ridiculous 20 zones that have popped up near the station area.”

Emma Evans added: “I drive to work on North Hill every day and most cars still seem to be driving down there.

“It isn’t that obvious that you’re not supposed to drive through the town.”

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Others said it had led to congestion in the roads around the town centre.

Rachael Burrows said: “It’s been a year since I’ve driven to the town. Too many long diversions to get anywhere. Colchester hasn’t got the infrastructure in place for all the bus lanes and restrictions needed.”

Diane Brown added: “Now Magdalen Street and Brook Street are constantly backed up with traffic, same going up East Hill towards Queen Street.

“Must be horrendous for the people that live there. Just put it back how it was, this closure has achieved nothing.”

The part pedestrianisation has been tried before in Colchester High Street but proved to be unsuccessful.

Some readers wanted to see a move to make the town more pedestrian friendly.

Tina Cave said: “Why is it that Chelmsford can cope and Ipswich can cope but Colchester is unable to function unless they can drive their car everywhere.”

Tim Webb added: “It hasn’t worked but it needs policing more to make it pedestrian friendly. Brilliant idea to ban all the cars - a few more weekly spot checks so people know would come in handy.”

Ahead of the anniversary the Gazette asked readers their thoughts on the ban with more than 300 people responding to our polls.

In total 61 per cent of people who took part wanted to see the rules reverted back, while 31 per cent said it had worked.

A further 44 per cent said they would be happy for it to be part time, 52 per cent said they would not and three per cent were undecided.

A spokesman for Essex Highways said: “ Despite some non-compliance by car drivers, it has been a better experience for pedestrians, helped increase safety for cyclists, supported a move to improve air quality and generally reduced traffic in the central area of Colchester town.

“The proposal now is to retain restrictions on the High Street, but part-time, for example from Monday to Saturday 7am to 7pm.

"This will greatly reduce peak-time traffic, but enable the night-time economy and deliveries.

“We propose to retain the bollards at the junctions with West Stockwell Street, East Stockwell Street, George Street and Maidenborough Street, to continue to protect the Dutch Quarter from through traffic.

“We will work closely with the business community on the scheme details.”

“Any further High Street restriction is subject to a ‘Traffic Regulation Order’ consultation, a legal process required before any changes are made permanent, planned for the autumn.”