A CONCERNED Colcestrian has pleaded with travel bosses to rethink plans to dramatically reshape a busy retail street.

The blueprints proposed by Essex County Council will see a cycle lane constructed at the junction of Balkerne Hill and Crouch Street, Colchester.

The project, near the Maldon Road roundabout, comes as part of the first phase of County Hall’s active travel plan, which is estimated to cost more than £7 million across Essex.

The herring-bone spaces in Crouch Street West will be removed for the installation of a cycle lane, while the pedestrian underpass is set to be filled in as part of £3million works at the site.


Jim Clayton, who lives in Rawstorn Road, just yards away from the site, says the road is a mini version of High Street, adding it is unique in Colchester for its mix of residential, retail and commercial properties.

But the 54-year-old says he has grave fears about the street’s future if County Hall’s plans go ahead.

He said: “Crouch Street is an outlier, achieving a level of success in purely surviving this far against a backdrop of town centre deterioration - particularly in these challenging, delicate economic times.

“The mix of conditions has been just right. Take any one of those factors away and it could be the tipping point for any one of these finely balanced businesses.

“Therefore, I am dismayed the plans to drastically cut this on-street parking to make way for a west to east cycle route that may not be needed is being pushed through at speed.

Gazette: Concerned - Jim ClaytonConcerned - Jim Clayton

“The genuine and significant concerns and objections raised during the public consultation last year have not been addressed and I feel may not even have been considered fully.

“Crouch Street is special and deserves to be preserved for all it offers, and nurtured so it will continue to be special for future generations.”

An Essex County Council spokesman said: “This cycle path project, which will be a substantial scheme, is in the early planning stage and the exact route of the cycle path has yet to be mapped in detail.”

The council previously said residents’ and business owners’ views were fed into a consultation.