Essex County Council comes up trumps with £6million for Colchester's first park and ride

Essex County Standard: Essex County Council comes up trumps with £6million for Colchester's first park and ride Essex County Council comes up trumps with £6million for Colchester's first park and ride

COLCHESTER’S first park and ride has received a boost after it was revealed Essex County Council has set aside £6million to build it.

The cash is included in the council’s proposed budget for 2014/15 and follows a series of failed bids for Government funding.

Work will start on the longawaited 1,000-space facility at Cuckoo Farm later this year, but an opening date has not yet been set.

Rodney Bass, councillor responsible for highways, said: “The advent of park-and-ride in Colchester could be the most significant event of the decade in supporting the future growth and economic wellbeing of Colchester.

“I trust we can achieve its introduction on time and within budget as indeed we did in Chelmsford.”

The park and ride is seen as crucial to attract more tourists and shoppers to the town who might otherwise use park and rides in Ipswich or Chelmsford.

It is also a key component of plans to reduce congestion in north Colchester, where thousands of homes are being built.

Anne Turrell, leader of Colchester Council and a Mile End councillor, said the park and ride would be popular with commuters and ease congestion at hotspots like North Station Roundabout.

She said: “Every town that has had park and ride has seen benefits.

“The difference in Chelmsford is phenomenal. It used to be horrendous shopping there and now it’s a lot better.”

In the last two years the Gazette has reported on a series of failed applications for Government grants.

Two bids for Department for Transport “pinch point” funding and a grant from the department’s “better bus area fund”

have been rejected. The authority has, until now, refused to confirm it would fund the park and ride if the Government didn’t.

Mr Bass said: “Newspaper reports on Colchester park and ride have tended to show a mixture of opinions in the past according to how the most recent funding bids are perceived to be faring.

“Our position has been consistently cautious and responsible throughout.

“Our target date for the implementation of park and ride in Colchester is likely to be later this year.

“We are still trying to achieve that with the welcome capital funds now allocated and which can pump prime the construction of the parking facility and terminus.”

A road and bus lane, linking the Northern Approach Road with the A12 junction and the future park and ride, is due to be completed this summer.

Further bus lanes are due to be added alongside the Northern Approach Road at a later date.

Mr Bass said the town centre bus lanes, recently temporarily suspended after 30,000 fines were sent out within weeks, were crucial to the success of the park and ride.

He said: “That is why we have placed so much importance upon them even though they are controversial.”

Budget proposals will be discussed by the authority’s cabinet tomorrow before a final decision is made at a full council meeting on February 11.

Comments (9)

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7:51am Tue 21 Jan 14

Say It As It Is OK? says...

They continue to tell us the congestion around North Station will ease, say it enough times and some people might just begin to believe it!

How can this ease North Station congestion when the plan is to change two of the existing lanes under the bridge to priority bus lanes.

The direct access from J28 along the new NAR3 is going to create more traffic heading directly from this junction into town via North Station. Also the P&R will not ease congestion for Mile End or Braiswick Residents and many staff and visitors to the Hospital (coming from the south, west and east of the town) are unlikely to drive out to the P&R.
They continue to tell us the congestion around North Station will ease, say it enough times and some people might just begin to believe it! How can this ease North Station congestion when the plan is to change two of the existing lanes under the bridge to priority bus lanes. The direct access from J28 along the new NAR3 is going to create more traffic heading directly from this junction into town via North Station. Also the P&R will not ease congestion for Mile End or Braiswick Residents and many staff and visitors to the Hospital (coming from the south, west and east of the town) are unlikely to drive out to the P&R. Say It As It Is OK?
  • Score: 9

9:25am Tue 21 Jan 14

Ritchie_Hicks says...

Say It As It Is OK? wrote:
They continue to tell us the congestion around North Station will ease, say it enough times and some people might just begin to believe it!

How can this ease North Station congestion when the plan is to change two of the existing lanes under the bridge to priority bus lanes.

The direct access from J28 along the new NAR3 is going to create more traffic heading directly from this junction into town via North Station. Also the P&R will not ease congestion for Mile End or Braiswick Residents and many staff and visitors to the Hospital (coming from the south, west and east of the town) are unlikely to drive out to the P&R.
You're spot on with this.

Maybe it would have been better sited at Tollgate?
[quote][p][bold]Say It As It Is OK?[/bold] wrote: They continue to tell us the congestion around North Station will ease, say it enough times and some people might just begin to believe it! How can this ease North Station congestion when the plan is to change two of the existing lanes under the bridge to priority bus lanes. The direct access from J28 along the new NAR3 is going to create more traffic heading directly from this junction into town via North Station. Also the P&R will not ease congestion for Mile End or Braiswick Residents and many staff and visitors to the Hospital (coming from the south, west and east of the town) are unlikely to drive out to the P&R.[/p][/quote]You're spot on with this. Maybe it would have been better sited at Tollgate? Ritchie_Hicks
  • Score: 8

9:39am Tue 21 Jan 14

Boudicathepessimist says...

The trouble is that the people who draw the plans do not live here. I would think that the money could be better spent, instead of a Park and Ride.
The trouble is that the people who draw the plans do not live here. I would think that the money could be better spent, instead of a Park and Ride. Boudicathepessimist
  • Score: 5

10:51am Tue 21 Jan 14

jammin says...

That looks like the kind of waiting room a proper bus station would be proud of.
That looks like the kind of waiting room a proper bus station would be proud of. jammin
  • Score: 2

10:52am Tue 21 Jan 14

jammin says...

Good call on Tollgate as the location

Traffic free route: Tollgate - A12 - Avenue of Remembrance - Westway - North Hill.
Good call on Tollgate as the location Traffic free route: Tollgate - A12 - Avenue of Remembrance - Westway - North Hill. jammin
  • Score: 4

11:01am Tue 21 Jan 14

Andyxyzzy says...

They need to stop taking the bus routes from one side of Town to the other. Just go to the Centre and back. That way congestion and hold ups in one part of the Town would not knock on and affect services in the other parts of the routes.
They need to stop taking the bus routes from one side of Town to the other. Just go to the Centre and back. That way congestion and hold ups in one part of the Town would not knock on and affect services in the other parts of the routes. Andyxyzzy
  • Score: 1

5:58pm Tue 21 Jan 14

Mind your own business says...

This is a total waste of six million pounds nobody wants to come to Colchester's run down town, Colchester has a growing reputation of violence and alcoholism.
This is a total waste of six million pounds nobody wants to come to Colchester's run down town, Colchester has a growing reputation of violence and alcoholism. Mind your own business
  • Score: -1

1:51am Wed 22 Jan 14

Boris says...

Ritchie and jammin are right, Tollgate is where it should have been. There was in fact a project to build it at Eight Ash Green, close by there, but residents objected, and CBC would have had to buy the land. At Cuckoo Farm, it already owns the land.
Ignoring land ownership issues for a moment, if you wanted to pick the worst possible site for a Park and Ride for Colchester, you would pick Cuckoo Farm.
Ritchie and jammin are right, Tollgate is where it should have been. There was in fact a project to build it at Eight Ash Green, close by there, but residents objected, and CBC would have had to buy the land. At Cuckoo Farm, it already owns the land. Ignoring land ownership issues for a moment, if you wanted to pick the worst possible site for a Park and Ride for Colchester, you would pick Cuckoo Farm. Boris
  • Score: 3

8:20am Wed 22 Jan 14

jammin says...

+1 Boris.

The biggest pinch point in this town is North Station. So lets make it worse and halve its capacity to normal traffic. Thats less capacity than with the old bridge!
+1 Boris. The biggest pinch point in this town is North Station. So lets make it worse and halve its capacity to normal traffic. Thats less capacity than with the old bridge! jammin
  • Score: 0

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