A BUSY road is finally in the process of being made safer after work got underway on a pedestrian crossing - leaving one long-campaigning councillor feeling "ecstatic". 

Essex Highways has confirmed ground works have started on the installation of a toucan crossing in Berechurch Hall Road.

The need for a crossing was previously raised by residents living on the St Michael’s Place development which is owned by housebuilder, Persimmon Homes.

Without a crossing, it was feared those with disabilities would not be able to safely travel over the road, nor children who attend the nearby school.

After concerns were raised to Essex County Council, planning bosses agreed a toucan crossing was be needed, but the project was hampered by delays and setbacks. 

Gazette: Happy - Councillors Claire Osborne and Dave Harris next to where the crossing will beHappy - Councillors Claire Osborne and Dave Harris next to where the crossing will be (Image: Public)

Berechurch councillor Dave Harris previously claimed there had been “plans” for the crossing dating back “a couple of years”.

The works were delayed into 2024 due to Persimmon Homes needing to make a legal agreement with the Highway Agency to implement works on land it does not own.

Temporary traffic lights, however, have now been set up in Berechurch Hall Road while the crossing is finally installed.

As part of the works, a footway and cycleway will be extended to a 3.65 metre width past the nearby St Michael’s Primary School, in Camulodunum Way, allowing safer traversal of the area.

Gazette: Area - a Street View image of Berechurch Hall RoadArea - a Street View image of Berechurch Hall Road (Image: Google Maps)

Gazette: Feeling good - Councillor Dave HarrisFeeling good - Councillor Dave Harris (Image: Steve Brading)

The work is being completed by SEH Limited as instructed by Persimmon Homes and should be finished by the end of August.

Councillor Dave Harris, who campaigned for 18 months to get the crossing, said: “I am absolutely ecstatic that is how I’m feeling.

“All the children, disabled, elderly, and people who have to cross the road, but have had difficulty because of no crossing, will have the means to cross safely.

“It was delayed 18 months, but the road works are in place.

"At the moment there are some delays as they have temporary traffic lights in place, so it’s like making an omelette.

“Like making an omelette there is an end product, I’ve even contacted Persimmon Homes and once it is ready we will hold an opening event for it and cut the ribbon.”

Pavement will also be upgraded to Essex County Council’s current standards at the Camulodunum Way and Berechurch Hall Road junction.

Richard Hush, Managing Director of Persimmon Homes Essex, said: "We have now started work on the highways upgrades to the entrance of the Michael's Place development in Berechurch Hall Road.

"During the first phase we will complete works to the junction and footpath, as well as the Marfleet Way crossing and the initial works for the Toucan crossing.

"Final works will take place during the summer period, in line with a request from Essex Highways.

"The new crossing will be completed this autumn, providing a safe route for pedestrians to and from this new community, especially young families travelling to the nearby primary school."

To find out more about the works, head to tinyurl.com/y3etu4pm.