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St Botolph's Circus, Colchester


Aerial Image showing the area around St Botolphs

St Botolph’s Circus is situated to the south of Colchester Town Centre on the A134 Southway at its junction with St Botolph’s Street, Mersea Road and Magdalen Street.

Colchester Town railway station is also situated just off the roundabout.

The junction is partially signalised and has a complex arrangement, particularly on the north side, where vehicles have to cross the roundabout approach lanes on St Botolph’s Street to gain access to the Britannia Way car park.

The Magistrates' Court car park and the railway accessible parking bays are directly off the roundabout which leads to further safety issues for both drivers and pedestrians.

Essex County Council is committed to improving the area and funding is available to provide improvements to vehicular traffic, buses, pedestrians and cyclists along the A134 Southway corridor and St Botolph’s Circus. 

What are the current problems?

The roundabout is often congested with traffic and this will continue to worsen if improvements are not made.

The junction currently experiences significant congestion in the peak hours. During this time, the average vehicle speeds are below 50% of off-peak times where traffic is free flowing.

A collision analysis found that most of the collisions in the study area were concentrated around St Botolph’s Circus roundabout. Safety for vulnerable road users within this area is poor. 11 of the 18 reported injury collisions involved pedestrians, pedal cyclists or powered two-wheeler users (such as motorcycles).

In addition, pedestrians and cyclists currently navigate the roundabout using underpasses that are unappealing and the open space below the surface attracts antisocial behaviour.

Image showing the section in the pedestrain area in the middle of St Botolphs Circus Roundabout

What are the proposed improvements?

The current plans are:

  • Infill the roundabout and subways, ensuring the public artwork is preserved and moved to a suitable location
  • Alter the shape and size of the island in the middle of the roundabout to increase carriageway capacity
  • Provide an additional lane on the eastern and southern sides to maintain three lanes around the roundabout
  • Install additional signals and a toucan crossing on the A134 Magdalen Street
  • Improve the junction at the entrance to Colchester Magistrates’ Court and Colchester Town railway station
  • Improve the surrounding streetscape by removing unnecessary street furniture and signage, upgrading footway surfacing, adding tree planting and feature lighting, and creating a series of pocket parks

These proposed improvements to St Botolph’s Circus are critical to improving the infrastructure of Colchester.

They will aim to improve congestion, reduce collisions as well as improving safety for residents and improving the aesthetics of the area and complement the heritage of the town.

Image of the remains of St Botolphs Priory which is a short walk from the St Botolphs Circus Roundabout

Image courtesy of Colchester Borough Council 

Illustrated map showing the proposed improvements of the scheme

Aims of the Proposed Plans for St Botolph’s Circus

  1. Provide the transport improvements needed to support and facilitate housing and employment growth 
  2. Provide an overall improvement to traffic flow and capacity whilst protecting the reliability of the public transport network 
  3. Remove the potential opportunities for sheltering to reduce the likelihood of anti-social behaviour
  4. Support the Core Principles and Specific Measures set out in the Colchester Borough Council Air Quality Action Plan, where applicable
  5. Improve the safety of all users 

How can I have my say?

The engagement period for the "St Botolphs Cicus Roundabout" proposals has now closed, all comments are currently being reviewed and will be considered during further design stages of the scheme.

A public information event was held on 2 July 2019 for people to find out more about the scheme and discuss the proposals with the team.

An online feedback survey was also made available from 21 June 2019 until its closure on the 2 August 2019.

Questions and Answers

Click on the question to reveal/hide the answer:

Why are you proposing these improvements?
Is there sufficient funding to build these improvements?
What funding is available for this project?
Does this announcement mean that these proposals will definitely be built?
Will these changes help improve air quality in the area?
Why are more significant changes not being progressed? Will these be done in the future?
What are the construction dates?
If you are removing the subways, how will I cross the roundabout as a personwho walks or cycles following completion of the construction works?
Will this impact on bus stops? Will they have to change location?
What impact will the works have on congestion during construction?
Will road closures be required during construction?
What considerations have been made to make sure the scheme is compatible with other infrastructure works across Colchester?
Where can I find updates on this scheme?