Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Proposals for a new A120 between Braintree and Colchester

A discussion paper by Colchester Cycling Campaign

CCC is neutral on whether this new road is needed. Supporters’ opinions range from being enthusiastically for it (safety) to vitriolically against it (the environment). We do not anticipate taking a stance on the project’s rationale or giving an overarching view on its desirability. That said, we strongly believe in the need to mitigate the effects of a bigger road on towns, villages and the countryside.

A120 will mean more traffic, especially in towns
A bigger A120 will create more traffic — as did the M25 and roads such as Newbury bypass (a traffic generation case study). Most journeys begin and end in towns and cities. The A120 will have a disproportionately adverse effect on urban areas which will be to the detriment of quality of living, health and local economies.

Campaign recommendations on cycling and the A120
CCC calls on the powers-that-be to:
  • consider better cycling provision and infrastructure at every stage of this scheme, both adjacent to and across the new and old roads and in nearby towns
  • include, publish and consult on cycling proposals and cycle proofing at the earliest possible date
  • apply the Equality Act and the Brown Principles as the scheme is being developed
  • take into account the recent report on air pollution from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) and the DfT’s interim standards for highways
  • give early assessments of how each option for the road will increase traffic in Colchester and Braintree
  • limit the number of new junctions to restrict use by local traffic and hence overall traffic growth

Campaign recommendations on restricting traffic growth

We would welcome:

  • pressure for a daily car-use toll (no multi-day tickets) to replace annual/six-monthly vehicle tax (possibly the best way to reduce the number of short car journeys)
  • a move towards workplace car park charging, which has shown its value in Nottingham
  • consideration of the potential of e-bikes in the general move to electric vehicles
  • support a future Colchester to Stansted railway line

Campaign recommendations on helping cycling and improving quality of life

We would also welcome:
  • a national cycling design manual to replace the current mishmash of guides (some good, some bad)
  • support for area-wide 20mph where people live in Essex
  • backing for Cycling UK’s Space for Cycling campaign
  • support for Cycling UK’s Road Justice campaign
  • installation of real-time pollution monitors in all major Essex towns
  • greater coordination of Essex County Council’s public health, transport planning and highways functions

    Paul Avison, Neil Allen and Will Bramhill, January 2017

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