Case Study

Removing barriers to cycling in Chelmsford, Essex

Richard Monk's picture
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Something interesting has been happening quietly in the town in the last few months. Bit by bit, a long-established part of the transport network has been dismantled.
Two bollards to Chelmsford where once were ugly barriers
Two bollards to Chelmsford where once were ugly barriers

CTC was delighted to be involved with Essex County Council, whose key officer in the county town of Chelmsford, now a city, aimed to transform some of the obstacles that cyclists complain about on their journeys.

ECC identified a number of sites where physical barriers had been in place for generations. Nobody could remember quite why they had been installed and nobody could see a really good reason to have them, but it was far harder to find a way of removing them than might appear.

The council was not put off. A programme was put together and this spring, existing routes have been opened up as never before.

So now, the 2 km route from Springfield Green, along by the railway line has been transformed."

Even better, barriers at various underpasses have been removed. Longstomps, the Odeon Roundabout, (there hasn’t been an Odeon there for 40 years), and even the fabled Army and Navy have come in for treatment.

Odeon roundabout barriers removed

And then, onto the barriers that were installed on a new bridge into Central Park built only ten years ago. Somebody must have been having a particularly bad day when they put in those barriers on a lovely wide bridge with excellent sight lines. Here, the City Council chipped in by helping to repair some of the surface of the bridge to restore it to a high-standard facility worthy of a city. Great partnership working.

CTC applauds Essex County Council and Chelmsford City Council for these actions."

Probably very small in comparison with the road engineering that goes on, but a real benefit to cyclists and to people with push chairs, prams and trolleys alike - and probably far better value for money!

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