With traffic congestion in Chelmsford reaching highs of 95% capacity at peak times, the public are being asked by Essex County Council to comment on proposals to increase walking and cycling routes around the city.
The planned changes
Aiming to enable safer options for travelling by foot or bike, the plans for Chelmsford, drawn up by Essex County Council in partnership with Chelmsford City Council, specifically focus on three routes, including:
- Better connecting the cycling routes from the residential area of Baddow with the city’s train station, as well as splitting Old Moulsham into quarters to make a ‘Liveable Neighbourhood’. (For Old Moulsham, this means new measures to limit traffic from vehicles travelling through the neighbourhood, and instead residents and traffic within each quarter would follow specified access gateways)
- Improving and extending the existing well-established cycling provision in the city centre
- Creating a ‘Liveable Neighbourhood’ in the Springfield Allied Estate area including the introduction of a School Street zone on Trinity Road
What’s a ‘Liveable Neighbourhood’?
With many neighbourhoods now dominated by cars, Liveable Neighbourhoods aim to reverse this trend and create areas where it is easier and safer to walk and cycle, while enjoying a more pleasant street and public realm as a result of fewer cars. This can see various measures used to prevent residential streets being used as shortcuts, car parks and rat-runs by people from outside the area. The plans give more detail about what Liveable Neighbourhoods could look like in Chelmsford.
The consultation is running until 11 July, and residents are invited to give feedback after viewing the plans in detail at www.essexhighways.org/active-travel-essex.
The Active Travel Essex plans propose reallocating road space to make more room for everybody to walk and cycle safely. As more people take up walking and cycling and avoid using their cars for short trips, it will mean fewer vehicles on the road and ease congestion for those who have no alternative but to drive, making their journeys more reliable and efficient.
Chelmsford has one of the highest levels of cycling in Essex, but the city also suffers from traffic congestion. The centre roads often operate at over 95% capacity during peak hours and this congestion leads to significant delays, especially following accidents. With many of these car journeys being short – a large percentage are under 5km or 3 miles – the scheme aims to offer an alternative to jumping behind the wheel.
Cllr Lee Scott, Cabinet Member for Highways Maintenance and Sustainable Transport at Essex County Council, said:
“We want Essex to be the walking and cycling county – a safer, greener, healthier place where we don’t automatically jump into the car, especially for shorter journeys.
“With the input from Chelmsford residents, we can help transform the city centre and surrounding neighbourhoods into thriving and healthier areas with fewer cars but more people cycling and walking, allowing us all to breathe cleaner air and enjoy a better way of life.”Cllr Lee Scott, Cabinet Member for Highways Maintenance and Sustainable Transport, Essex County Council
Tell Essex County Council what you think and have your say on the new cycling and walking routes planned for Chelmsford by 11 July 2021.