TRADERS in Colchester town centre say plans to ban cars, vans and lorries entering the High Street during the day will damage their businesses.

Colchester Council wants to ban vehicles other than buses, taxis and bikes between 10am and 6pm, to cut congestion.

But Colchester Retail and Business Association has urged councillors to think again, saying this would cause massive rises in the cost of deliveries.

Michelle Reynolds, chairman, said: “Most people have their stock delivered by courier.

“If you have a courier delivery any time between 8am and 6pm, it’s fine. The moment you start saying I want it before 10am, you’re racking up the cost.”

Solutions suggested by the group in its official response to the idea include allowing delivery vehicles to have unrestricted access, or introducing permits.

Mrs Reynolds added: “If you pick anybody in the High Street, they have all got some concerns.

“There are a number that are very anxious about how it’s going to affect them.

“We’re looking for a compromise so businesses are as little affected as possible, while keeping the spirit of the scheme.”

She said council regeneration officers had been very supportive at a recent meeting.

Other proposals include creating a bus lane in North Hill and a bus gate at the junction of the High Street and Queen Street.

Disabled parking spaces would be removed from two areas of the High Street, but added to the Castle Bailey end, behind the Town Hall and in North Hill.

The taxi ranks in the High Street would be reduced, but more space would be added in Head Street.