What are the changes?

The Town Centre Trial has brought in the following changes:

  • Access to the High Street is restricted between 11am – 6pm only to buses, taxis, private hire vehicles, motorcycles and bicycles.
  • This prevents access to the 26 spaces on the High Street for blue badge holders during these times.
  • The taxi rank is currently based on the High Street. It has been moved to Head Street, reducing the parking available there on the yellow lines.
  • Half of North Hill – heading up into town – is now a bus lane.  This is 24/7, with no time restrictions.
  • Going into Queen Street from the High Street is also restricted.  Again, this is 24/7.
  • Many streets in the Dutch Quarter have become two-way traffic, and you cannot access the High Street from the Dutch Quarter.

Blue Badge spaces have been increased in the following locations:

  • Priory Street car park by 5.
  • Vineyard Street car park by 15.
  • Beneath Culver Square Shopping Centre spaces increase by 4.
  • St Mary’s car park by 9.

Some of the issues with these changes:

  • The 26 spaces on the High Street will be lost after 11:00am.
  • 9 spaces on Head Street will be lost altogether.  These two locations are the most frequently used in the town centre, and are vitally required to access that area of town.
  • The new spaces are not equivalent to those being lost. They are all a great distance away and will mean the usage of steep hills or large gradients to get into the town centre.
  • In addition to the distance, 15 spaces are at Vineyard Street, where the lift breaks down frequently, the pathway from Priory Street is very narrow, and many wheelchair users have to use the road instead of the pavement.
  • None of the ‘alternative’ spaces are new. Any blue badge holder can already go to any car park and park there.

More information on the Vineyard Street lift:

In 2011 it broke down 13 times

In 2012 it broke down 10 times.

The lift was refurbished in May 2012

In 2013 between January – August it broke down 10 times.  We’re waiting for the figures to complete the year.

To read more arguments against the changes please click here.

So what have Fair Access to Colchester been doing about these changes? Find out more here.