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Colchester High Street Pavement Improvements

Press release - 22 October 2020: Aerial video showcases new Colchester High Street pavements

A new aerial video showcasing newly finished pavements in Colchester High Street can now be viewed online.

Cllr Kevin Bentley, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Cllr Martin Goss, Colchester Council’s Portfolio Holder for Waste, Environment and Transportation, recently took a tour of Colchester town centre, to view the completed work and now everyone can see a birds-eye view of what the councillors saw.

The new video can be viewed via the Essex Highways YouTube channel (also included below). 

Also a video showing the specialist techniques used in the work to replace worn slabs and sealing grouting can also be be viewed via the link to the Essex Highways YouTube channel (also included below).

Essex Highways managed the scheme, which was funded jointly by Essex County Council and Colchester Borough Council.

The improvements to the pavements will make them safer, look better and less likely to move or break. It is also hoped the new pavements will add to the town centre environment, attracting people to the town centre.

Pavements on both sides of the High Street have been repaired, from the junction with North Hill to Queen St, including around the war memorial in front of the Castle and including block paving on the road at West Stockwell Street.

Councillor Bentley said: “Most of the pavement work was done at night to keep inconvenience to shops and shoppers to a minimum, and we avoided Friday and Saturday nights when night-time businesses are busiest. I thank all those businesses for their patience, and I’m sure they all will benefit from the improvements.”

Councillor Goss said: “I was very impressed with the work-rate, planning and attention to detail of the contractors on the High Street. Not only are the pavements improved, they are sealed and protected from future problems so that our traders will have an attractive backdrop to their shops to welcome visitors to the town centre. I am delighted our investment is already paying off.”

The work involved laying new paving slabs where needed, replacing damaged slabs with colour-matches. Worn grouting has been removed and re-grouted and then sealed.

To minimise impact on pedestrians and day-to-day life in the bustling town centre barriers and signs needed during working hours were removed after each night shift.

Sealing the grouting will make it easier for Colchester Council’s street cleaning team, as it protects the slabs and blocks and the grouting between them and underneath. 

Replacement slab and grout colours were selected by Colchester Council officers to ensure a good colour match, and they were also chosen to be easily matched by any company that digs up and replaces any slabs in the future.

Works Location




About the scheme

Improvements to the pavements in Colchester High Street are planned this summer, funded by Essex County Council and Colchester Borough Council.

The works are anticipated to take approximately 12 weeks to complete, with works taking place overnight to repair and improve the paving by replacing some slabs and re-grouting and sealing all pavement slabs.

Essex Highways is managing the work while Colchester Council is leading on liaising with local residents and businesses about the work. This follows the recent completion of ultrafast broadband works in the area.

Councillor Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader of Essex County Council and Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, added: “Colchester Council and Amphora Trading have found an efficient solution to broadband upgrades, and have freed up an earlier start date for our work. We will ensure that the pavements are greatly improved and future-proofed with minimum inconvenience to traders and public. Colchester has a great future beyond these still tough times now.”

Cllr Martin Goss, Colchester Council’s Portfolio Holder for Waste, Environment and Transportation, said: “I’m very pleased that this work to improve Colchester High Street, which will make it a more attractive place for people to visit and shop, is happening earlier than planned, through our jointly funded project with the County Council. We want to ensure the town centre remains a welcoming and safe environment for everyone. There are better times ahead!”

What is involved and how this may it affect you

These improvements are planned to begin on Monday 20 July and are anticipated to take approximately 12 weeks to complete, subject to suitable weather conditions and no unexpected issues arising.

To minimise inconvenience in the area, repairs will be carried out at night between the hours of 7pm and 6am, Sunday to Thursday to avoid any issues for late-night businesses who trade Friday and Saturday nights.   The work will be carried out in phases moving along the street.  

We aim to complete the noisiest operations before 11.30pm, with less noisy activities continuing for the remainder of the shift.  Work will progress in sections along the road, so activity in any one area will typically be for a few nights before moving onto a new section. Contractors will use hydrogen-powered equipment where possible, reducing local air and noise pollution. Sound-suppressant barriers will be used to reduce noise inside adjacent premises.

During the works protective barriers will be in place to separate the work area from the public, however these measures will be lifted following each shift to limit obstructions on the pavements.

Throughout the works pedestrian routes will be maintained however short detours around the working area may be required.

Work will involve replacing any unusable slabs with new colour-coordinated slabs to match the existing where possible, repairing any damaged areas with grouting and sealing to prevent damage in future.

Officers from Colchester Borough Council will be talking to residents and business owners directly affected to ensure that there is little or no inconvenience or loss of access to premises for customers.

Further information

Residents and businesses directly affected by these works are being contacted directly.

Updates, traffic management and access information will be reflected on local signage and this webpage as information becomes available.

You may also wish to follow @essexhighways or view for information about other works in the area.

Please be aware that the work programme may be subject to change if for example if affected by poor weather, if other unexpected issues arise including Government advice associated with Covid-19.

Thank you for your patience while we carry out these improvements.