The new Northern Approach Road phase 3 (NAR3) scheme opened on Wednesday 8 April 2015. It creates a link between the existing Northern Approach Road, just north of Mill Road, and Axial Way and junction 28 of the A12, and will be named Via Urbis Romanae.
The scheme delivers a single carriageway road with adjacent bus priority lanes and pedestrian and cycle facilities, and runs through the former Severalls Hospital site, which is owned by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and the North Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (NEP).
Delivery of the NAR3 will enable the release of the Severalls Hospital development site, allocated within the Colchester Local Development Framework (LDF) Core Strategy (now Local Plan) for 1,500 homes.
The road and sustainable transport provision forms an intrinsic part of the infrastructure required to deliver planned housing and employment development in the area; it is part of the Section 106 obligations on the Severalls Hospital site. As part of a unique deal, Essex County Council has forward-funded construction of the road and delivered it up-front, with repayment to come later from the HCA and NEP as allocated housing is delivered.
The NAR3 will also help to ease congestion in north Colchester and improve access to the existing Severalls Business Park and Weston Homes Community Stadium. This will be achieved through the connection of junction 28 of the A12, Axial Way, United Way and the existing Northern Approach Road. This will create a transport corridor between the Town Centre, Colchester Station, the Colchester North Growth Area (as defined within the Colchester LDF/Local Plan) and the A12 Strategic Trunk Road. It will also provide a route for future Colchester Park and Ride services, due to begin shortly.
The shared cycling and walking facilities will be closed temporarily. Streetlighting along the route will remain switched off whilst the works to the electrical infrastructure are completed. Both will be operational at the earliest possible opportunity.