Traffic accessing the centre of the city from routes including New London Road, Roxwell Road, Springfield Road, Waterhouse Lane, Broomfield Road, and Chelmer Road usually ends up travelling along Parkway to reach their destination. As a result, the Parkway corridor experiences significant congestion during peak periods, particularly in the city centre and at key junctions along the route.
There are a significant number of buses which use Parkway (approximately 45 per hour in each direction) and which also suffer from increased journey times and poor journey time reliability as a result of the congestion along the corridor.
Following a public consultation on the Chelmsford City Growth Package during summer 2017, the decision was taken to progress plans for a package of improvements at key locations on Parkway and Victoria Road South
These were completed in December 2019
Parkway - Improvements to road layout westbound:
The existing road layout was simplified with lane markings for westbound traffic to allow for all three lanes of traffic to continue straight ahead at Odeon roundabout (towards A1060 Parkway westbound). For traffic travelling westbound on Parkway this will reduce the need to change lanes when approaching the Odeon roundabout.
Manor Road junction with the Odeon Roundabout:
Providing a safer, direct east-west route for people who walk or cycle between Rochford Road east and Rochford Road west. This improvement linked the Moulsham Street shopping area and the Odeon Roundabout subway and connected to the National Cycle Network 1 along the riverside at Kings Head Walk. The improvements allow for safer crossing for the existing cycle route across Manor Road.
A1099 High Bridge Road / Baddow Road (junction with the Odeon roundabout):
A permanent dedicated left turn restriction for traffic into Baddow Road was created, formalising the temporary restrictions, which had operated since 2011.
To access Baddow Road west from a westbound direction on Parkway, traffic will need to continue to the Market roundabout, U-turn and join the dedicated filter lane to turn left into Baddow Road west. This prevents Parkway through traffic being blocked in peak periods by cars wanting to get to the car parks.
As an additional safety improvement, the existing kerb island on High Bridge Road was extended to prevent the movement from the dedicated left turn lane straight onto High Bridge Road. This will help prevent conflict with traffic exiting Baddow Road west and traffic exiting the roundabout onto High Bridge Road from the outside lane. This will also improve pedestrian safety at the adjacent crossing.
New London Road / Parkway Junction:
The existing central reservation was has been extended to restrict the existing straight-ahead (southbound) and right-turn (westbound) movements of buses from New London Road (north). New London Road (northbound approach) was also widened at its junction with Parkway.
These changes allow traffic in all other directions to keep flowing for longer and should improve overall travel time through the junction by more than 20%. Over 90% of buses on all approaches to the junction should experience reduced journey times throughout the day.
Subways at junction of New London Road with Parkway:
Enhancing the existing subways at the junction has provided a safer route across the junction for people who cycle and ensures that north-south cycle journeys on New London Road are not affected by the changes to the junction.
Victoria Road South:
A number of improvements have made it easier and safer for people who walk or cycle to access the train station. A shared footway / cycleway has been created along the eastern side to give improved links north and south (via Parkway and Bell Meadow) to Chelmsford City railway station. The zebra-crossing to the north of Market Road junction has been converted to a new 'Parallel Crossing' which will allow cyclists to cross without dismounting. Pedestrians and cyclists are able to cross safely (using segregated areas) at the same time, with lane markings for their guidance.
Alterations have been made to the exit area of the car park to provide a safer crossing point for pedestrians and cyclists. Links to the cycle route through Burgess Springs have been provived to created a safer, more direct route to the station cycle parking area.
A shared footway / cycleway along the southern side has been created between the junction with Parkway and the entrance to Bell Meadow at the existing zebra crossing to give an improved link to the existing cycle network within Bell Meadow. Alterations to the exit onto parkway have also been made to provide safer crossing for both pedestrians and cyclists.
A shared footway / cycleway has been created along the northern footway to provide improved links to the subway at New London Road and links to the south of the city.