HUNDREDS of thousands of pounds are expected to be spent on improving “poor” pavements in Colchester city centre.

Essex County Council has agreed “in principle” to fund improvement works worth about £250,000, Colchester Council leader David King told councillors.

Mr King told the authority’s scrutiny panel on Tuesday: “We have an agreement in principle with the cabinet member for highways to have a capital programme for the city centre in late summer said to be worth around £250,000.

“They do this periodically; it will be very welcome. Lots of the streets which have loose cobblestones and poor pavements will be the better for it.”

Gazette: Funding - Colchester Council leader David KingFunding - Colchester Council leader David King (Image: Newsquest)

He added the city council will also make a contribution towards improving the city centre’s pavements “which could be £50,000”.

A Freedom of Information request made by the Gazette last year revealed 951 pavement defects in Colchester reported to Essex Highways in the two years to November hadn’t been made safe.

At the time the data was obtained, Culver Street West was the worst affected road in the city centre with 26 unresolved pavement defects, followed by 16 unresolved reports in Long Wyre Street.


Despite the upcoming investment in improving pavements, Essex Highways is slashing funding for other highway issues in half.

Gazette: Unsafe - Long Wyre Street, where 16 pavement defects reported in the two years to November had gone unresolvedUnsafe - Long Wyre Street, where 16 pavement defects reported in the two years to November had gone unresolved (Image: Steve Brading)

In the next financial year, Colchester Council will receive £250,000 from the county’s local highways panel, down from £500,000 this year.

The funding is used for smaller highway projects like traffic management improvements, cycling schemes, and bus stop improvements.

Lindsay Barker, deputy chief executive of Colchester Council, told councillors the county council had to make cuts to prioritise funding for other key services like adult social care.

“The flexibility they have around the rest of their service requirements is really constrained at the moment and obviously highways is one of those,” she explained.

Colchester Council previously contributed £100,000 a year to the local highways panel.

Lexden and Braiswick councillor Dennis Willetts, who recently spent £800 to repair damage to his car caused by potholes, said the council should rethink its priorities after agreeing to spend £7.7million on infrastructure associated with the next phase of the Northern Gateway project.

Councillors called on the city council’s cabinet to find funds to support improvements to roads and pavements.

Essex Highways was invited to comment.