The changes will look to make the roundabout simpler to use and improve the flow of traffic. Currently, the layout is complex which can be confusing to use, particularly to gain access to Britannia car park. The Magistrates’ Court car park and the blue badge parking bays at the station are also accessed off the roundabout which can cause problems for traffic, cyclists and pedestrians.
The traffic data analysis undertaken shows that the junction currently experiences significant congestion in the peak hours, with average vehicle speeds reduced to below 50% of the free flow speeds. In addition, a collision analysis found that the majority of the collisions in the study area were concentrated around St Botolph’s Circus roundabout. Vulnerable road user safety within this area is poor, with 11 of the 18 reported injury collisions involving pedestrians, cyclists or powered two-wheeler users.
The proposals include revising the junctions, particularly the entrance to Colchester Magistrates’ Court and station, to make it easier for all modes of transport to navigate the area. In addition, the scheme will aim to reduce congestion, reduce collisions and improve safety for both traffic users and pedestrians and improve the look and feel of the area, given that it is a key route into town.
The improvements to St Botolph’s Circus form a key part of investment in infrastructure in Colchester and are integral to support housing and employment growth.