Essex Highways, Safer, Greener, Healthier

Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package

Public consultation

Having thoroughly assessed a number of potential junction layouts and sustainable transport improvements, we asked you to help shape the final scheme by completing our public consultation.

The eight-week public consultation, which has now closed, was open from Monday, 9 August 2021 until Sunday, 3 October 2021.

The consultation focused on two junction options – a hamburger roundabout (a roundabout with a road through the centre of it) and separate T-junctions, as well as the proposed  expansion of Sandon Park and Ride, a new Park and Ride in Widford and significant walking and cycling improvements.

We have not made any final decisions, and the consultation was your chance to help us choose a preferred option and refine our final proposals.

A virtual exhibition containing all of the information and materials you would expect to find at a traditional consultation event was open throughout the consultation. Visualisations were also available and showed how the proposed junction options would look and work for different modes of transport. We used estimated future traffic levels at morning and evening peak times to provide a realistic impression of the journeys you would experience.

We also produced a consultation brochure, including an easy read version and audio read-throughs, which remain available at the bottom of this page . Printed copies of the brochures were also available in all Chelmsford libraries, the Civic Centre and County Hall.

We are now in the process of analysing your responses to the public consultation and will use the feedback to help us identify a preferred option and refine our proposals.

Consultation events

We hosted a series of online and face-to-face consultation events to give you an opportunity to find out more about the project and ask us questions.

Live web chat sessions

Our live web chat sessions provided an opportunity to submit written questions and chat live with the project team through the messaging function. 

The sessions took place on the following dates:

  • Tuesday 17 August – 6pm - 9pm
  • Friday 3 September – 10am – 1pm
  • Saturday 18 September – 2pm – 5pm

Live webcasts

Our video call-style live webcasts on Microsoft Teams included a short presentation about our proposals, as well as a question and answer session, where people were able to submit written questions to the project team.

The webcasts took place on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 25 August – 7pm - 8pm
  • Thursday 9 September – 8pm - 9pm
Written responses have been provided to any questions we did not have time to answer during the sessions and can be found in the Questions and Answers further down this page.
 

Drop-in events

We hosted a couple of drop-in face-to-face events in Chelmsford city centre during the consultation period.

The project team were available to answer questions and provide information about the proposals outside Barclays Bank, High Street, Chelmsford, on the following dates:

  • Saturday 11 September – 12noon - 4pm
  • Thursday 16 September – 1pm - 5pm

Thank you to everyone who attended our events and participated in the public consultation.

If you have questions about the project or public consultation, please email armyandnavy@essexhighways.org

About the junction

The Army and Navy junction in Chelmsford is a key gateway into and out of the city and was being used by up to 70,000 vehicles a day and 72 buses an hour prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The junction consists of a five-arm roundabout, which until 2019 had a tidal flyover that carried one-way traffic (cars only) to and from the A1060/A1114 over the roundabout.

The junction is already over capacity during the morning and evening peak times. As a result, it suffers from severe congestion and bus passengers, pedestrians, cyclists and drivers regularly experience delays. This also results in it being a poor-quality environment for all road users.

The situation is expected to get worse in the future unless we do something differently.

To begin to solve the problems, we cannot keep building new roads and need to instead provide better options for people to travel, encouraging safer, greener and healthier ways of getting around the city, especially for shorter journeys where we want walking or cycling to be the natural choice.

The Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package is an opportunity to do just that and we are working very hard to develop a long-term and sustainable solution that is an asset to the city and improves journeys for everyone. 

The planning, development and approval of any scheme is still likely to take a number of years and will require funding to be secured.

Funding is being pursued from the Government's Major Road Network and Large Local Majors programme, and the Department for Transport (DfT) has agreed to continuing work with us in developing a business case for the scheme. The Chancellor announced in the 2020 Spring Budget that the project had been approved to proceed to the next stage of development for consideration for funding.

 

Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package

The Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package is an unmissable opportunity to re-design the Army and Navy junction - a crucial gateway to Chelmsford – while also providing better options for people to travel and encouraging safer, greener, and healthier ways of getting around the city.

Our proposals currently include:

  • Two junction options – a Hamburger Roundabout (a roundabout with a road through the centre of it) and Separate T-junctions
  • A 350-space expansion of Sandon Park and Ride
  • A new Park and Ride site in Widford (two site options are being considered)
  • Wider connectivity improvements across the walking and cycling networks

By delivering a comprehensive package of measures that encourage increased walking, cycling and Park and Ride travel, alongside an improved Army and Navy junction, we can provide a long-term and sustainable solution, improving journeys for everyone.

More information about the proposed Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package is available in our consultation brochure.

Concept images

Image showing the Hamburger Roundabout option at the Army and Navy
Hamburger Roundabout option
Image showing the separate t-junctions option at the Army and Navy
Seperate T-junctions option
Image showing the proposed extended Sandon Park and Ride site and layout changes with a key
Sandon Park and Ride expansion
Images showing the layout of the Widford Park and Ride Greenbury way option with a key
Widford Park and Ride – Greenbury Way site option
Image showing the layout of the Widford Park and Ride London Road option with a key
Widford Park and Ride – Greenbury Way site option

Concept images

Questions and Answers

Select a question to reveal/hide the answer:

Public consultation

The best way to find out more about the proposals is by visiting our virtual exhibition, which is available 24/7 throughout the consultation period so you can visit at a time to best suit you. The exhibition contains all of the information you would expect to find at a traditional consultation event, as well as visualisations of the junction options and clear instructions to help you navigate your way around the virtual room.

In addition, we have produced a public consultation brochure and easy read public consultation brochure, which can be found on this page and via the virtual exhibition. Working with local charity Chelmsford Talking Newspaper, we have also had audio read-throughs recorded and uploaded to this page.

Printed copies of both consultation brochures are available in all Chelmsford libraries, at County Hall and the Civic Centre.

The quickest and easiest way to tell us what you think is by completing our online consultation survey.

The survey questions are also available at the back of our consultation brochures and can be printed, filled out and posted to the following address (please note the address is case sensitive): FREEPOST ESSEX HIGHWAYS ENGAGEMENT TEAM

They can also be returned by email to armyandnavy@essexhighways.org.

Please respond to the survey only via one of the methods. We cannot accept responsibility for ensuring that responses sent in any other way are considered.

You have until 11:59pm on Sunday, 3 October 2021 to respond to the survey. There is no guarantee that any responses received after this date will be considered. If they are, they will be labelled as late responses.

To enable people to find out more about the proposals and ask any questions, we are hosting a series of online and face-to-face consultation events during the consultation period. These include live web chat sessions within the virtual exhibition space, video call-style live webcasts via Microsoft Teams and two drop-in face-to-face events in Chelmsford High Street. Dates and further details are available on this webpage.

Consulting at this stage of the project is standard practice and in line with the Department for Transport’s transport appraisal process. We have not made any final decisions, and people’s views will help us decide a preferred option and identify any need to refine our final proposals.

By consulting at this stage, we have been able to carry out more detailed assessment of the options and to present a good level of information that allows people to make a more informed view when responding to the consultation.

During the various stages of the option assessment process, we have ruled out lower performing junction options to focus our efforts on those that would make a real difference. It would not have been appropriate to include any of the other options in the consultation because they do not perform well enough to be considered as a preferred option and taken forward.

We are progressing with the Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package as quickly as possible and the timing of the public consultation has largely been driven by the completion of our latest option assessment. In light of the fact the public consultation started during the summer holidays, we made the decision to run the consultation for eight weeks, rather than the typical six-week consultation period, to ensure people have plenty of opportunity to respond. The consultation period, therefore, includes the entire month of September and the first few days of October. Both of our drop-in face-to-face consultation events and a number of our online events have also been deliberately scheduled for September to avoid the summer holidays.

The digital focus of the consultation, such as the virtual exhibition, means that the consultation can be accessed anytime and anywhere throughout the consultation period.

Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package

The Chelmsford Future Transport Network Strategy sets the approach to the city’s transport network to provide real choice. Through a zonal approach, it prioritises specific modes of transport in different areas of Chelmsford, with an increasing focus on sustainable travel towards the city centre. The Army and Navy junction is on the border of the central and mid zones, meaning any scheme should focus on sustainable travel measures such as walking, cycling and buses.

In addition to our local vision and strategy, the Government has also made it very clear that future transport schemes must include sustainable measures in order to achieve a successful business case and secure funding. This point has been reiterated by the Department for Transport specifically in relation to the Army and Navy project.

We recognise not everyone is physically able to walk or cycle and also that it is not possible for longer distance trips. This project is about making improvements for all modes of transport and increasing people’s travel options.

By encouraging those who can walk or cycle to do so, we can not only improve people’s health and wellbeing, but also free up capacity on the roads for those people whose journeys to have to be made by car.

We have assessed the junction options based on a number of different scenarios. This includes using initial factors set by the Department for Transport DfT) based on the likely impacts of the pandemic on traffic and the economy. We are expecting updated guidance from the DfT in the autumn and, if required, will update our assessment accordingly.

We are aware of the Active Travel proposals, however at the time of undertaking our assessment of the options, there was no committed scheme and therefore we were unable to take it into account in our option assessment. If required, we will update our assessment once a final scheme is agreed.

As outlined previously, we are unable to take uncommitted schemes into consideration when assessing options and, therefore, have not assessed what impact the Moulsham ‘quartering’ proposals would have on the Army and Navy junction and our options.

Essex County Council is in the process of analysing the Active Travel consultation responses but has acknowledged that the Moulsham ‘quartering’ proposals do not have widespread support and said it will work with Chelmsford City Council and the Chelmsford Active Travel Steering Group on what else it can do to make cycling and walking safer and more accessible in the three areas of Chelmsford covered by the proposals.

Based on the current programme, which assumes the necessary land needed for the project can be obtained through negotiations with the owners, construction of the junction layout improvement scheme is expected to start in autumn 2024 and be completed in autumn 2026. This is subject to funding being secured and planning, legal and Government approval processes.

The duration of the construction programme for the final junction scheme will be dependent on which of the remaining options is progressed. It would therefore vary slightly between the two options, however, it would be expected to be about 18 to 24 months. In order to create the additional Park and Ride capacity needed to meet the predicted increase in demand during construction and to help minimise disruption, it is hoped that Sandon Park and Ride site could be expanded in advance of the works at the junction. We will also ensure that all construction works are carefully coordinated and sequenced to avoid clashing with any other major works in the area wherever possible.

We understand people want a solution at the Army and Navy junction as quickly as possible and we do as well, however we must also follow Department for Transport, legal and planning processes and ultimately ensure we achieve the right scheme for Chelmsford. Very detailed evidence is needed in order to make the case and secure Government funding for any major transport scheme. Steps have already been taken to reduce the project programme wherever possible and every effort is being made to identify further opportunities. We are also exploring whether any elements of the Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package, such as expansion of Sandon Park and Ride, can be started in advance of the junction layout improvement works.

Funding has yet to be secured but is being pursued from the Government's Major Road Network and Large Local Majors programme. The Chancellor announced in the 2020 Spring Budget that the project has been approved to proceed to the next stage of development for consideration for funding and the Department for Transport (DfT) has agreed to continuing work with us in developing a strategic outline business case for the scheme. The award of funding will be dependent on presenting a successful business case.

The Army and Navy junction is a complex five-arm roundabout. A solution is not easy and, despite several investigations over the years, there is no quick fix and funding has not been available to pursue long-term improvements at the junction. Following the adoption of the Chelmsford Future Transport Network Strategy and permanent closure of the flyover, we were in a much stronger position to develop a long-term and sustainable solution and to pursue Government funding.

No. While COVID-19 has undoubtedly had a significant impact on Essex County Council and will continue to do so in the future as the world recovers from the pandemic, we remain as committed as ever to progressing the scheme. The Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package represents an opportunity to transform travel in Chelmsford and create a lasting legacy at this vital gateway and throughout the city.

This webpage is updated regularly with the latest news on the project. You can also subscribe to our Army and Navy email newsletter.

Junction options

During the various stages of the option assessment process, we have ruled out lower performing junction options to focus our efforts on those that would make a real difference. It would not have been appropriate to include any of the other options in the consultation because they do not perform well enough to be considered as a preferred option and taken forward.

The remaining junction options (Hamburger Roundabout and Separate T-Junctions), together with the other measures proposed as part of the Army and Navy

Sustainable Transport Package, offer the best opportunity to provide a long-term and sustainable solution which would improve journeys for everyone.

Our option assessment is based on the current situation at the junction and, therefore, after the former flyover was closed (and subsequently removed). This is standard practice as there is a need to ensure the current situation is reflected in line with the Department for Transport’s transport appraisal process, which must be followed in order to stand the best chance of a successful business case and securing funding. The assessment statistics contained within our consultation materials are therefore based on comparisons with the current situation.

No U-turns would be possible at the junction with the Separate T-Junctions option and drivers wanting to travel in that direction would therefore have to use alternative routes, for example via Van Diemans Road or Chelmer Road.

No direct turns could be made from Baddow Road to Essex Yeomanry Way or Chelmer Road and from Van Diemans Road to Baddow Road. These movements could not be safely catered for within the design of the option. The movements would instead be made by using alternative routes, such as performing a U-turn at the Odeon roundabout.

No, based on the latest designs for both the Hamburger Roundabout and Separate T-Junctions options, we do not need to acquire any residential properties.

The existing left-turn slip road was constructed as a planning condition ahead of the opening of the Aldi store. It was not possible to retain the slip road within the Hamburger Roundabout option design while also providing segregated pedestrian and cyclist crossings that comply with the latest Department for Transport guidance.

The slip road could not be retained as part of the Separate T-Junctions design because the option involves a total redesign of the area to create two completely new junctions, with the new junction between Parkway and Chelmer Road a significant distance from where the two roads currently join.

New bus lanes and bus priority measures would be added in both directions on Parkway and existing measures would be maintained on Essex Yeomanry Way and into the junction as part of both junction options, giving buses priority over general traffic. Two lanes are maintained for general traffic on Parkway as part of both options.

The eastbound bus lane in the Hamburger Roundabout option ends with a bus gate just prior to the Aldi/B&M turning, while the bus lane in the Separate T-Junctions option continues close to the first of the two new T-Junctions.

We have not yet determined which additional vehicles would be able to use the proposed bus lanes.

There are no perfect solutions and no scheme would remove all queuing and delays at the junction, but we now have two options which offer the best balance for all transport users, including improved average journey times for private vehicles.

Rather than give a false impression of what the options could achieve, we wanted the visualisations to give people a realistic idea of the journeys they would experience at the junction. We used estimated future traffic levels at morning and evening peak times in the visualisations, so they represent traffic at its highest levels.

We have tried our best to create high quality visualisations that provide a realistic impression of the two junction options. In order to achieve this, we used traffic modelling data and software to replicate predicted vehicle numbers, flows and movements, and then combined this with animation software to bring the options to life. The traffic modelling software deliberately attempts to replicate poor driver behaviour, such as late or incorrect lane changes. Unfortunately, due to software constraints and compatibility, this is not something we could always rectify.

As outlined above, we used a combination of traffic modelling and animation software to create the visualisations in order to provide a realistic impression of the two options. Although lorries and other heavy goods vehicles are included within our traffic modelling, due to some limitations and compatibility issues with the software, it was not possible to include these vehicles within the visualisations.

The decision was taken to rule out the Enlarged Roundabout ahead of public consultation because it would not meet the project objectives as well as the other two options. When accompanied by enhanced walking and cycling facilities at the junction, it would not sufficiently improve the junction for motorised vehicles and would be unlikely to secure funding. On the basis it would not be taken forward as a preferred option, it would have been misleading and inappropriate to include the option in the consultation.

Design standards have changed significantly since the previous Army and Navy flyover was first built in 1978. A modern standard two-way flyover would therefore be much bigger than the previous flyover and would take up considerably more space. It would be the worst option for increasing city centre traffic and congestion and would not supporting the Park and Ride or walking and cycling aspirations of our adopted Chelmsford Future Transport Network Strategy as well when compared with the other options. The flyover would also have the largest noise impact and the longest and most disruptive construction programme, which would have the biggest impact on the local economy.

A new one-way flyover was considered earlier in the project but was discounted because it would take up almost as much road space as a two-way flyover and have a similar cost but would provide fewer benefits. Notably, traffic travelling out of the city during the morning peak would need to merge lanes which would cause delays and a potential safety issue. This would also cause additional delays on other approaches to the junction such as Chelmer Road.

Ultimately we want the Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package to improve journeys for all transport users, including pedestrians, cyclists, bus passengers and drivers. While that does include reducing congestion and delays for vehicles, the project is a very difficult balancing act and we must be mindful about the impacts of the options on walking, cycling and Park and Ride usage, as well as the potential for causing increased congestion and delays elsewhere in the city centre, notably at the Odeon roundabout, by letting too much traffic through the junction. The Chelmsford Future Transport Network Strategy sets out a clear vision to transform transport in Chelmsford through a zonal approach, with a strong focus on walking, cycling and bus travel, particularly towards the city centre, and it is crucial that the Army and Navy project aligns with that vision and strategy.

An underpass or tunnel for vehicles was discounted very early in the project. Given the location of the flood plain and the underground utilities at the junction, the option would be very complex and expensive to construct and would offer no additional benefits than the two-way flyover. Like the flyover, it would also encourage more vehicle trips into the city centre, rather than supporting the Park and Ride, walking and cycling, which goes against our adopted Chelmsford Future Transport Network Strategy.

Park and Rides

As part of the Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package, we need to provide better options for people to travel and to encourage safer, greener and healthier ways of getting around the city.

We are proposing an upgrade and approximate 350-space expansion of the Sandon Park and Ride site to meet increased demand, both now and in the future.

A new Park and Ride in Widford has also been a long-standing aspiration for both Essex County Council and Chelmsford City Council and is now being proposed as part of the Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package to provide greater travel options and enable sustainable growth of the city.

We are considering two potential sites in Widford – one off the A414 London Road (Three Mile Hill) and one off the A414 Greenbury Way. At this stage we have not decided on a preferred site.

Although passenger numbers have significantly decreased as a result of the pandemic, we fully expect usage to recover in time.

We have already assessed our proposals based on a number of different scenarios. This includes using initial factors set by the Department for Transport DfT) based on the likely impacts of the pandemic on traffic and the economy. We are expecting updated guidance from the DfT in the autumn and, if required, will update our assessment accordingly.

In line with the Chelmsford Future Transport Network Strategy, bus travel will play a key role in reducing travel demand in the city and we must continue to encourage people to use sustainable alternatives to driving. The Government has also been very clear about its aims to get more people travelling by bus and improve and reform services, as outlined in its Bus Back Better national bus strategy.

A full bus can remove up to 40 cars from the road network, helping reduce congestion and carbon emissions. The important role buses can play in reducing transport emissions is supported in the Government’s recently-published Transport Decarbonisation plan (Decarbonising transport: a better, greener Britain).

It is hoped that initial works at the Sandon Park and Ride site can begin before improvements at the Army and Navy junction so that additional capacity is available to meet the predicted increase in demand during construction and help minimise disruption. Works at Sandon are estimated to take about nine months in total and would be phased, with specific areas of the site closed in turn, to ensure the Park and Ride service remains open throughout.

No final decisions have been made, but we will look to retain the existing wind turbine and art installation within the revised site layout if possible.

We are considering extending the existing bus lane on Essex Yeomanry Way to include the on-slip between Maldon Road and Essex Yeomanry Way to avoid buses potentially queuing on the slip road, notably during construction works at the Army and Navy junction. This would give buses priority over other traffic and improve journey time reliability for Park and Ride services.

A bus lane is also proposed within the Sandon Park and Ride site between the relocated bus terminal and the access junction, enabling buses to exit promptly and enhancing services.

As part of the London Road site option, a new bus lane and bus gate are proposed on the northbound A414 London Road from the new Park and Ride access junction to approximately 100m south of Widford Roundabout, giving buses priority over other traffic.

As part of the Greenbury Way option, a new bus lane and bus gate are proposed on the eastbound A414 Greenbury Way on the approach to Widford Roundabout, giving buses priority over other traffic.

As part of both options, a bus lane is also proposed between the bus terminal and the access junction, enabling buses to exit promptly and enhancing services.

As part of the London Road Widford Park and Ride option, we are proposing to close the existing cross-over area on London Road approximately 100m south of Widford Roundabout, which currently enables residents and businesses alongside the southbound carriageway to cross onto the northbound carriageway and head back towards the city centre. This closure is necessary to enable a new bus lane and bus gate to be created on the northbound A414 London Road, giving buses priority over other traffic to improve Park and Ride journey times. There would also be insufficient space between the carriageways for waiting vehicles and a significant level difference between the two carriageways, making it unsafe for those using the cross-over area. A design drawing which illustrates the current proposals and the cross-over area we proposing to remove is available in the ‘Documents’ section at the bottom of this page.

We appreciate that the removal of the cross-over area could cause some inconvenience and are therefore proposing to provide a dedicated turning facility within the Park and Ride site to enable vehicles to promptly turn around and exit northbound towards the city centre. The turning facility would be traffic light controlled and open 24 hours a day.

From October, a new mobile ticketing system called MiPermit will be introduced at the two existing Park and Ride sites in Chelmsford (Sandon and Chelmer Valley), The MiPermit app will replace the current ticket payment system and will enable customers to register their vehicles when making a payment. This will improve people’s experience of the Park and Ride, as well as enabling the car parks to be patrolled and, if necessary, enforced to prevent people parking in the sites without taking the bus. Those without a smart phone or unable to download the app will be able to pay on board the bus by either cash or contactless but must register their vehicle in the Park and Ride terminal building each time they visit.

It is anticipated that the MiPermit mobile ticketing system would also be introduced at the new Widford Park and Ride site once it opens.

We are keen to develop a Park and Choose offering at the Park and Ride sites, where people have the option to take the bus, walk or cycle to complete their journey, and are planning to explore potential walking and cycling routes from Sandon Park and Ride and the new Widford Park and Ride to help enable this. The likely costs of these services have not been decided.

As part of our Safer Greener Healthier campaign, we’re working with Spin on electric (e) scooter trials in six areas of Essex, including Chelmsford. The Government’s Department for Transport (DfT) has made orders that only the designated hire scooters are legal for the trial period and in the trial areas. Any e-scooters used anywhere other than the trial areas remain illegal (unless used on private land).

The Government will take the final decisions on the results of the trials and determine whether e-scooters can be legalised for wider use, but criteria will include how many people use them, safe use and benefits in replacing car journeys.

Depending on the outcome of the trials and any decisions from Government, we may consider including e-scooters as a further option at the Park and Ride sites for people to complete their journeys.

Walking and cycling improvements

Both junction options include significantly improved walking and cycling facilities at ground-level at the junction, replacing the current subway and creating attractive, safe and accessible routes. This includes fully segregated cycle lanes and direct crossings, in line with the Department for Transport’s latest guidance. Optimised signal timings would also help ensure that pedestrians and cyclists can travel across the junction safely and quickly.

In addition, wider improvements are proposed on the approaches to the junction on Baddow Road, Van Diemans Road and Essex Yeomanry Way, as well as connections to the existing Chelmer Road to Chelmer Village and Parkway/River Chelmer routes. The details of many of these connections and routes are still being investigated, however they will include a proposed two-way segregated cycleway on the eastern side of Van Diemans Road, between the existing toucan crossing on Princes Road and the Army and Navy junction.

Potential new cycle corridors from Sandon Park and Ride and a proposed new Widford Park and Ride are also being considered to enable a potential Park and Choose service, where people can choose to complete their journey by bus, walking or cycling. Again, routes are still being investigated and no decisions have been made.

Investing in all of these facilities will create a more coherent network for pedestrians and cyclists, helping encourage more people to walk and cycle into the city centre and reducing car journeys, which has significant economic, social, health and environmental benefits.

We believe the pedestrian and cycle route improvement measures proposed at the Army and Navy junction itself offer a better alternative on the basis they would be suitable all year round, benefit from better lighting conditions and provide a more direct route.

In order to encourage more people to walk and cycle in Chelmsford, we need to provide high quality facilities that are attractive and accessible to everyone. If we were to include a subway under the Army and Navy junction, the space required for the ramps would not allow us to provide the vastly improved ground level walking and cycling facilities that we are proposing for both options. We know that many people feel unsafe using subways, especially at night, and that ramps can be difficult for people to negotiate. By not building a subway, it allows us to provide the best quality ground level facilities that we can – fully segregated walking and cycling routes that are wide, attractive and available to all users.

To encourage increased walking and cycling through the junction, we are proposing to create significantly enhanced walking and cycling facilities both at the junction itself and on the approaches. This includes a proposed new two-way segregated cycleway on the eastern side of Van Diemans Road, between the existing toucan crossing on Princes Road and the Army and Navy junction, providing connectivity with existing cycling network. To ensure there is the necessary space to create these new facilities, widen the existing footway on the eastern side and maintain two lanes for general traffic on the approach to the Army and Navy junction, we are proposing to remove the existing permit parking bays on both the eastern and western side of Van Diemans Road.

All access to properties and driveways would be maintained, and we would work with those currently without any other parking to find appropriate alternative options.

A design drawing which illustrates the current proposals and the permit parking bays we are proposing to remove is available in the ‘Documents’ section at the bottom of this webpage.

Potential new cycle corridors from Sandon Park and Ride and a proposed new Widford Park and Ride are also being considered to enable a potential Park and Choose service, where people can choose to complete their journey by bus, walking or cycling. Routes are still being investigated and no decisions have been made. The routes shown on the maps within our consultation materials are, therefore, illustrative only.

Exact routes will be explored as part of the next phase of the project and we will engage with key partners, including walking and cycling groups, to get their views once options have been investigated.

Planning and background

The Chelmsford Future Transport Network Strategy outlines a strategy for Chelmsford’s future transport network to make all modes of transport attractive and give people real choice in the way they travel, helping to keep the city moving, protect the environment and support further growth. It sets the following vision for Chelmsford to 2036: “For Chelmsford's transport system to become 'best in class’, rivalling similar cities across the UK, offering enhanced connectivity and access to opportunities for residents, visitors and businesses to support the sustainable economic growth of the city.”

The strategy focuses on the type of journey (short, medium and long distance) and is achieved through a zonal approach, with greater emphasis on more sustainable modes towards the centre of the city. In order to achieve the vision and objectives, the approach is based on applying different types of schemes to different zones to address the transportation issues facing Chelmsford both now and in the future.

More information is available on the Chelmsford Future Transport Network Strategy page.

Yes, we have taken into account all planned growth detailed in Chelmsford City Council’s new Local Plan, including the proposed Chelmer Waterside and East of Great Baddow developments. We will continue to liaise with developers as the proposals are developed.

The decision to allow the construction of the food store was made by Chelmsford City Council as the local planning authority. We were, however, consulted as the highways authority and stipulated that Aldi needed to provide land for the dedicated left slip road between Parkway and Chelmer Road, which was constructed in 2016 – well in advance of the store.

The Chelmer Viaduct scheme was a Highways England project to replace and upgrade the previous 1930s bridge. The Army and Navy junction is Essex County Council’s responsibility and improvements to the junction would have been outside of the scope of the Chelmer Viaduct project. In addition, funding was not available and options for a long-term solution had yet to be explored.

Although it is difficult to predict people’s travel behaviours post COVID-19, there is still growth planned in and around Chelmsford that means we expect the Army and Navy junction to continue to be a key gateway into and out of the city. We have used the DfT’s latest guidance on post COVID-19 transport modelling to assess the need for intervention and we believe that improvements to the junction are still required. The Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package represents an opportunity to create a lasting legacy at the junction, providing greater options for people to travel and encouraging safer, greener and healthier ways of getting around the city.

We have already assessed the different junction options based on a number of different scenarios. This includes using initial factors set by the Department for Transport DfT) based on the likely impacts of the pandemic on traffic and the economy. We are expecting updated guidance from the DfT in the autumn and, if required, will update our assessment accordingly.

Live webcast questions

The following questions were raised during the live webcast on Wednesday 25 August and were unable to be answered on the call during the time available.

We are using a strategic model which allows traffic to reassign to alternative routes when additional capacity is created on the road network. When additional capacity is created at a junction, more traffic is typically attracted to that junction.

With the Hamburger Roundabout option in place there is an increase in capacity at the entrance to the Army and Navy junction from Baddow Road. In the evening peak, more vehicles are able to enter the roundabout because there are fewer vehicles heading from Chelmer Road into the city centre, which makes it easier to enter the roundabout.

Park and Ride demand is primarily from people living some distance from Chelmsford and from various different locations. It would not therefore be viable to run separate bus services through each of those distant, residential locations.

The current administrations at Essex County Council and Chelmsford City Council have been clear that they do not favour road pricing and there are no such proposals being considered. The current strategy aims to provide alternatives to the private car, which will reduce the reliance on private vehicles.

There has been no specific assessment. However, our proposals reduce average travel time at the junction for pedestrians and cyclists, which will reduce their exposure to air pollution in the area. In addition, air quality is expected to improve in general as traffic becomes less polluting through improvements in vehicle technology.

No exceedances of the annual mean NO2 Air Quality Objectives – thresholds of air pollutants set to protect to human health – are predicted at sensitive receptors (areas where the occupants are more susceptible to adverse effects of exposure to air pollutants) within the existing Air Quality Management Area between the Army and Navy and the Odeon Roundabout or the wider study area for the opening year (2026) of the Army and Navy scheme.

Widening the Chelmer Viaduct is not part of our proposals and is deemed outside the scope of this project. The options would, however, improve bus journey times from Chelmer Road towards the city centre in the morning peak.

Once a preferred junction option has been identified and our designs progress further, we will look at flood mitigation measures in more detail. If the use of stilts would be an appropriate measure then they will be considered.

The following questions were raised during the live webcast on Thursday 9 September and were unable to be answered on the call during the time available.

The proposed segregated cycleway would be built in accordance with the latest Department for Transport guidance, including recommended widths and curvatures. If this requires additional land then this will be investigated at a later stage.

Hamburger Roundabouts are a standard form of junction in the UK. Any new junction is accompanied with ‘new layout ahead’ signs, which help drivers recognise the need to take additional care while they get used to the junction. However, we do not envisage any problem with people being able to understand the permanent signage because it is only the straight-ahead movements between Essex Yeomanry Way and Parkway that use the hamburger. All other movements use the roundabout as normal.

The traffic modelling used to assess the junction options is based on detailed origin and destination information taken from anonymous mobile phone data. This is much more accurate than traditional origin and destination surveys. As a result, we know where the users of Baddow Road are going to and from.

Yes. The key advantages of the Separate T-Junctions are that the routes for pedestrians and cyclists are shorter when crossing the main roads and there are greater opportunities for landscaping improvements.

We do not currently envisage any publicly-funded electric car hire or cycle hire at the Park and Ride sites, however if there was a privately-funded opportunity which we felt would benefit the public then this could be considered.

The Essex County Council strategic development team are in discussions with the developer regarding strategic cycle facilities throughout the site, in line with their strategic movement and access study.

Any proposed new Widford Park and Ride site would be designed to meet the Lead Local Flood Authority and the Environment Agency’s requirements for surface water run-off and flood risk management so that water quality of the River Wid and flood risk is not adversely affected.

Yes, we have taken into account all planned growth detailed in Chelmsford City Council’s new Local Plan, including the proposed Chelmer Waterside and East of Great Baddow developments. We will continue to liaise with developers as the proposals are developed.

No, there are no plans to widen Baddow Road due to physical constraints. A key aim of the Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package is to encourage people to use other forms of transport to reduce the number of cars on the road network, including in Baddow Road.

Funding has yet to be secured but is being pursued from the Government's Major Road Network and Large Local Majors programme. The Chancellor announced in the 2020 Spring Budget that the project has been approved to proceed to the next stage of development for consideration for funding and the Department for Transport (DfT) has agreed to continuing work with us in developing a strategic outline business case for the scheme. The award of funding will be dependent on presenting a successful business case. If funding is not secured through this route then Essex County Council would look to explore other funding sources.

Modelled average peak period traffic at Widford Roundabout in 2041 would increase between 0.5%-1.6% compared with a no Widford Park and Ride scenario.

In order to encourage more people to walk and cycle in Chelmsford, we need to provide high quality facilities that are attractive and accessible to everyone. If we were to include a subway under the Army and Navy junction, the space required for the ramps would not allow us to provide the vastly improved ground level walking and cycling facilities that we are proposing for both options. We know that many people feel unsafe using subways, especially at night, and that ramps can be difficult for people to negotiate. By not building a subway, it allows us to provide the best quality ground level facilities that we can – fully segregated walking and cycling routes that are wide, attractive and available to all users.

We expect to make a decision about a preferred junction option this winter (2021/22).

There is no net requirement for the scheme, beyond improving journeys for all transport users. A key aim is to make walking, cycling and bus travel more attractive, which will help reduce traffic on the roads, while also improving the junction for private vehicles.

One-way operation of Baddow Road at peak times, with buses and cyclists only heading into the city centre, was previously considered by Essex County Council, but was not taken forward due to a lack of public support. There are currently no plans to reconsider this.

Next steps

At this point, no decisions have been made about a final scheme and the project team is working hard to prepare the robust evidence needed to secure funding and support the business case for the project.

Now the consultation period has ended, we will analyse your feedback and use it to help inform our decision about a preferred junction option and any potential changes to our proposals.

There are also various other factors which form part of the decision-making process and these are explained in our consultation brochure.

Once we have a preferred option, we will also explore whether any improvements can be made to enhance it further.

We expect to agree a preferred option in winter 2021/2022 and submit an outline business case to the Department for Transport in Spring 2022.

Based on the current programme, which assumes the necessary land can be obtained through negotiations with the owners, we then hope to secure planning approval in Winter 2022/2023 and to submit a full business case to the Department for Transport In Spring 2024, with construction scheduled to take place between Autumn 2024 and Autumn 2026.

We understand people want a solution as quickly as possible and are taking steps to speed things up wherever we can. However, we must also follow Government, legal and planning processes and ensure we achieve the right solution for Chelmsford.

 

Task Force

A dedicated Army and Navy Taskforce, made up of local representatives and elected members of the Parish, City and County Councils, has been established to drive forward a longer-term solution for the Army and Navy junction and to lobby Government for funding.

The Taskforce is an advisory body, which, in partnership with Essex Highways, is assisting the decision-making process in considering the future of the Army and Navy junction and the immediate transport network.

Members meet on a regular basis to provide feedback and insight to help shape the options being developed and progressed.

The Taskforce has raised the Army and Navy scheme with the Secretary of State for Transport and the Department for Transport. The department’s priorities for the scheme are:

  1. Safeguarding the productivity of Chelmsford
  2. Managing congestion at peak times
  3. Incorporating the scheme into the wider transport vision for Chelmsford

Alongside these priorities, the Department for Transport has stressed the importance of sustainable transport infrastructure.

Engagement with partners

Community partners have played a vital role in helping shape the future of the Army and Navy junction and will continue to do so as the project develops.

In March 2019, representatives from various groups were invited to attend workshops about the Army and Navy junction. Three events were held - one for businesses, one for transport groups and one for local community groups.

The purpose of these events was to provide an early opportunity for a variety of key audiences to find out more about the background and objectives for the scheme, to discuss the principles and priorities that must be considered and share their knowledge and experiences of the junction.

The feedback captured from these sessions was used to help inform the development of initial options for a long-term solution.

Further workshops with key partners were scheduled for March 2020 but were cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. A written update was sent to partners instead and can be found in the documents section at the bottom of the page.

Further briefing sessions took place virtually in January 2021 and July 2021 and allowed the project team to update partners on the latest progress with the project, the options being taken forward and our plans for public consultation.

Separate briefing sessions also took place in July 2021 to outline our proposals to expand Sandon Park and Ride and create a new Park and Ride site in Widford.

Removal of the flyover

The Army and Navy flyover was a feature of the Chelmsford skyline for more than 40 years and its removal was a crucial step in a new era for transport in the city.

The flyover was the subject of a number of closures during summer 2018 after movement of a supporting column following record high temperatures. Having been safely reopened, it was closed again in July 2019 after similar defects were identified.

On 16 September 2019, it was confirmed that the flyover would be closed permanently on safety grounds following the recommendation of a detailed engineering report, which revealed new defects within the concrete foundations.

The flyover was successfully removed last year. The project started in February 2020 and the steel and concrete structure was taken down section by section before being transported away for dismantling and recycling.

Works to remove the flyover itself were completed in mid-March 2020, with follow-on activity to close off the crossover areas and make the site safe finished in April 2020.

A video of the historic project has since been added to the Essex Record Office digital archive.

 

Key facts about the junction

  • The Army and Navy junction is already operating significantly over capacity during the AM and PM peak times
  • 72 buses an hour use the Army and Navy in the AM peak
  • Each day, up to 70,000 vehicles use the junction (pre-COVID but post-flyover removal). About 10,000 vehicles a day used the flyover prior to its closure
  • A significant number of journeys to work in Chelmsford are made by private vehicle but are less than 5km in length
  • If everyone in Chelmsford were to switch just two of their journeys to work (including to the train station) each week to sustainable modes, this would remove 165,000 trips from the network

Vision and strategy 

The vision for Chelmsford is to have a transport system which is best in class, offering enhanced connectivity, access and choice to residents, commuters, visitors and businesses.

The Chelmsford Future Transport Network Strategy sets the approach to the city’s transport network to provide real choice.

Through a zonal approach, it prioritises specific modes of transport in different areas of Chelmsford, with an increasing focus on sustainable travel towards the city centre.

The Army and Navy junction is on the border of the central and mid zones, meaning any scheme should prioritise sustainable travel measures such as walking, cycling and buses.

Consultation documents

Full Version 

Public consultation brochure - PDF(4.3mb)

Audio read through narrated by Chelmsford Talking Newspaper - MP3(50mb)

Easy Read

Easy read public consultation brochure - PDF(2.8mb)

Audio easy read read through from Chelmsford Talking Newspaper - MP3(14.5mb)