Ground investigation works for the new east Colchester link road have been started already, but no planning permission has been submitted and environmental factors have not been evaluated.

The road has only one purpose: To “unlock” a so-called garden community. Garden city principles say a development must enhance the natural environment, providing a comprehensive green infrastructure network and net biodiversity gains. 

This “garden community”, however, will be built on top grade agricultural land and be split by the new dual carriageway, which links nowhere to nowhere.

It is worth noting that to the west of Colchester the authorities wanted to move the A12 at a cost of £270million to avoid splitting the new town they proposed there.

For the second-class citizens in the East Colchester new town, on the other hand, the traffic noise, air pollution and severance created by a dual carriageway do not seem to matter. 

There is not even a plan for a bridge to cross it.

We are promised a ‘Park and Choose’. Choose what? To drive 20 or 30 minutes, get out of your car and wait in the rain before paying for the bus, joining a car share, hiring an e-bike or walking into town, where your workplace parking is free?

No-one would consider walking or cycling down this stretch of the A133, and there is no funding identified to pay for a pavement, cycle path or even a segregated bus lane from the new town to Clingoe Hill roundabout.

Finally, buried deep in a council report, we find that the link road will worsen congestion on the A12 and other areas around town. 

Yet supporters of the road seem to believe that instead of improving public transport and cycling options for the whole borough, this is the way to reduce air pollution.

The road is being bulldozed through the system at speed, with seemingly no checks and balances.

The future looks likely to be habitat genocide for wildlife, and traffic congestion and air pollution for humans. 

Andrea Luxford-Vaughan
Colchester Council member for Wivenhoe
and Rosie Pearson
Planning campaigner