Congestion concerns need to be addressed now, say councillors

PUBLISHED: 09:01 16 January 2015 | UPDATED: 14:43 16 January 2015

District councillors Bob Eastham and David Sadler on Ashdon Road.

District councillors Bob Eastham and David Sadler on Ashdon Road.

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Councillors have called for "a more radical solution" to deal with traffic problems in the east of the town.

Councillors have called for “a more radical solution” to deal with traffic problems in the east of the town.

District councillors David Sadler and Bob Eastham – who are responsible for Castle Ward – are making a renewed appeal to Essex Highways to come up with a better way of dealing with congestion on Ashdon Road.

“We fear that not enough consideration is being given and believe, with the additional Ridgeons development now on the horizon, the time to find 
a solution is now,” they told the Reporter.

Approved last year, the redevelopment of the commercial centre will see increased activity in the area, with plans for offices, warehouses for industrial and distribution use, a retail store and 167 homes.

“I have lived in the town since 1967 and even then the Ashdon Road had a congestion problem, which became worse with the expansion of De Vigier Avenue and subsequently the development of Elizabeth Way,” said Cllr Eastham.

“Highways’ solution then was the imposition of double yellow lines; their answer to the problem now is to extend those yellow lines which will only exacerbate the situation when future developments are started.

“Now is the time for a more radical solution and with proper consideration being given to residents’ parking requirements,” he added.

Steve Kienlen, landlord of The Axe on Ashdon Road, said: “The traffic is horrendous on Ashdon Road and always has been. There was talk of making Radwinter Road one-way and Ashdon Road one-way going into town – it would make perfect sense.

“They’ve got to do something, they can’t just keep on building more houses and not doing anything about it.”

Cllr Eastham agreed: “A one-way system would be a radical solution if it was done carefully, worked out properly. It has been considered in the past but nothing was done.

“Essex Highways has to get to grips with it and do something, or soon the road will be impassable.”

Council’s cabinet member for Highways, said: “We are currently conducting a feasibility study into the traffic situation on Ashdon Road and are expecting its results in April.

“Once we have analysed those results, we can begin considering a number of potential options for further traffic calming measures, which can be consulted upon and examined by the Local Highways Panel.”

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