County Council decides on new design for Chelmsford Army and Navy junction

Chelmsford’s Army and Navy junction is set to be remodelled into a so-called hamburger roundabout following months of consultation.

Essex County Council is set to sign off for the the proposal for a hamburger roundabout – a roundabout with a road through the centre of it – at cabinet next week.

The junction has already undergone major changes in recent years, as its flyover was removed and a new Aldi was built nearby.

A public consultation, which ran from August to October, focused on two new options for the junction which connects Chelmer Village, Baddow and the city centre.

A hamburger roundabout and separate T-junctions were proposed.

And the consultation findings revealed that the public were overwhelmingly in support of the hamburger roundabout option.

Essex County Council cabinet on Tuesday next week is set to agree that the hamburger roundabout option is taken forward as the preferred option for the junction improvements and officers should develop an Outline Business Case for submission to the Department for Transport (DfT) for funding.

A statement to cabinet said: “This decision relates specifically to the preferred option at the junction and the recommendation that the hamburger option is taken forward as the preferred option for the junction improvements.

“This is in response to the public consultation where there was significant support for this option and is consistent with the technical work which illustrates its significant benefits.

“The need to identify a preferred option for the junction improvement is to enable Essex County Council to progress the development of the Outline Business Case for the Department for Transport (DfT) to bid for Major Road Network (MRN) funding.

“The Outline Business Case should be based on one option. The submission of the Outline Business Case is anticipated for Autumn 2022.”

The Army and Navy junction is a critical part of the Chelmsford transport network and a vital gateway into and out of the city. It was being used by up to 70,000 vehicles a day and 72 buses an hour prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The junction consists of a five-arm roundabout, which until 2019 had a tidal flyover that carried one-way traffic to and from the A1060/A1114 over the roundabout.

In normal times the junction is already over capacity during the morning and evening peak times and as a result suffers from severe congestion.

“The situation is expected to get worse in the future unless we do something differently,” a statement to cabinet added.

Leader of Chelmsford City Council Councillor Stephen Robinson said it was important that wider transport issues such as the importance of developing further park and ride services – including a third hub to the west of the city – were taken forward as part of the Army and Navy plans

He said: “The city council is pleased that the Army and Navy sustainable transport project is progressing and we have always emphasised the importance of using this scheme to address the wider transport issues not just at the junction.”

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Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter