Restrictions to come in across Essex to make high streets more cycle and pedestrian friendly

Town centres across Essex are to be made more cycle and pedestrian friendly as part of the county council’s response to make a lasting legacy in the high street in the wake of the Covid-19 emergency.

In Chelmsford, a 20mph speed limit is being put in place in Duke Street from the junction with Victoria Road South to its junction with Tindal Square, which is also having a 20mph put in place along its whole length.

There will also be 20mph limits in New Street from the junction with Tindal Square to its junction with Victoria Court, in Tindal Street from its junction with Tindal Square to the southern boundary of 81 High Street, in Market Road from its junction with Tindal Square to its junction with Victoria Road South and in Victoria Road from its junction with Duke Street to a point 325m east of its junction with New Street.

There are also one one way restrictions planned for Tindal Square, New Street and Victoria Road.

In Billericay and Wickford high streets a 20mph speed limit will be applied.

The changes are set to be introduced initially as a 21 day trial and if the changes are seen as effective in facilitating sustainable transport modes and maintaining a safer environment for road users, particularly cyclists and pedestrians, they will be continued for an additional 21 day period.

During that period the council will consider making a further temporary order that would extend the measures for up to 18 months.

The changes come in the wake of a directive from Grant Shapps, who in May urged local authorities to grasp the “once in a generation opportunity” Covid-19 presents to deliver a lasting transformative change in how we make short journeys in our towns and cities.

He said: “The government therefore expects local authorities to make significant changes to their road layouts to give more space to cyclists and pedestrians.

“Such changes will help embed altered behaviours and demonstrate the positive effects of active travel. I’m pleased to see that many authorities have already begun to do this, and I urge you all to consider how you can begin to make use of the tools in this guidance, to make sure you do what is necessary to ensure transport networks support recovery from the Covid-19 emergency and provide a lasting legacy of greener, safer transport.”

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Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter