From car bans to outdoor dining - all we know about the 'masterplan' for Colchester
MAJOR changes to Colchester and its economy are set to be implemented, as part of the new masterplan to future-proof the city centre.
The Colchester City Masterplan, which is set to go before councillors next week, before the public share their views, is set to bring some significant changes to the city.
The document hopes to implement a ‘clear vision’ for the future of Colchester for years to come.
Several proposals have been made, which would cause major changes to driving in the city centre.
Current proposals include creating a low-traffic and people-focused city centre.
Part of the plan suggests the existing High Street car ban could be extended across the city centre, spilling over to other streets, such as St John's Street.
This would mean only buses, taxis, goods vehicles and cyclists would be able to use these busy roads, with access only streets factored in.
The report stated that ‘complete pedestrianisation is not being proposed.’
The long-term goal would be to implement a Zonal Traffic Circulation plan, similar to a ring road, across Colchester, which would look to reduce traffic to the centre.
The report also suggested reducing the option of long stay parking in the city centre, to encourage more visitors to use the park and ride service.
The masterplan also revealed dozens of ideas which will look to help boost the city’s economy and keep the High Street thriving.
Other parts of the plan also include bringing Colchester’s Roman history to the forefront, creating a new park to pay homage to its heritage.
An all-new Roman Wall Park in the city centre has been proposed, which would use the city’s historic Roman wall to promote walking routes.
The plans also include joining the park with existing open spaces, along the walls and nearby routes.
Further options for development include improvements to licencing, which would enable more venues to offer outdoor dining and outdoor pub seating, within the city centre.
Several opportunities for currently vacant buildings, namely Debenhams, have also been flagged, with hopes to bring diversity to the city economy.
The plan also looks to make use of the River Colne, adding improved amenities and access for water sports, such as paddleboarding, kayaking and swimming.