The North Colchester business parks area travel plan is being formally launched this week. The area travel plan is being developed by the Highways Agency and their consultants AECOM, in partnership with Essex County Council, Colchester Borough Council and the Colchester 2020 Travel Plan Club.

The area travel plan will help the 12,000 people who work within the North Colchester business parks get to and from work faster, easier and in a more environmentally friendly fashion.

Essex County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transportation, Norman Hume, said: “Our sustainable business travel team are working very hard with businesses in North Colchester, including our own staff, to encourage people to think about their travel choices.

We must tackle congestion and work to improve our environment and we are committed to ensuring we provide as many options to people so that they can choose to travel sustainably to work.”

Cllr Anne Turrell, leader of Colchester Borough Council, said: “This area is very congested during rush hour times, so I think this is a fantastic idea. We hope it will encourage all our residents to consider how they travel and whether they can make any differences to current habits by trying public transport or car-sharing.

This is a fantastic scheme, particularly as ‘congestion busting’ is one of our nine strategic priorities. We know from what our residents tell us that it is an area of concern so we are keen to support more sustainable methods of travel.”

The area travel plan aims to:

  • Encourage as many people as possible to walk, cycle, use public transport or car-share
  • Improve the environment for pedestrians, cyclists, public transport users and local residents
  • Provide up-to-date information about travel options
  • Encourage business and organisations, and individuals to become members of the North Colchester business parks area travel plan
  • Improve the travel efficiency of businesses in the area

Starting on Wednesday 16 September 2009, there will be a series of events in the area, which includes Colchester Business Park, Severalls Business Park, The Crescent and Axial Way.

The Highways Agency’s mobile exhibition unit will be parked, all day, at two locations:
on Wednesday 16th September at the Food Factory, The Crescent; and on Thursday 17th September at Phoenix Square, Wyncolls Road.

Everybody who goes along to the mobile exhibition unit will be able to:

  • Register free for the North Colchester business parks car-share service
  • Use the interactive website to plan their journeys to work
  • Try out an electric bike
  • Use a bike to make your own free fruit smoothie

Area travel plan information will also be available at lunchtimes at these other places within the North Colchester Business Parks: on Wednesday 16th September at the Top Notch Health Club, Wyncolls Road; and on Thursday 17th and Tuesday 22nd September at The Food Factory, The Crescent.

The Highways Agency said: “We believe that there is scope to reduce the regular and significant congestion at the A12/A120 interchange. The area travel plan is expected to reduce congestion at this busy junction and on the other roads surrounding North Colchester’s business parks. This will be good for road users, business, employers and residents.”