Welcome to the Colchester Cycling Campaign newsletter

Welcome to the summer newsletter from Colchester Cycling Campaign. We’ve had a busy few months with lots of lobbying of our councils, commenting on planning applications and regular bike meets including presentations by officers from Colchester Borough Council and Essex County Council. Our most recent meeting included a presentation by Tier Mobility about their e-scooter and e-bike hire schemes. In May we had a social catch up with over 20 campaign members meeting to chat in the beer garden of the Kings Arms on Crouch Street. We are looking forward to holding another social meeting later in August — email to follow with details.

I hope you enjoy this newsletter. We’ll aim to get an update out at least once a quarter. Please let us have feedback on improvements to it that you’d like to see.

Stuart Johnson, Chair, Colchester Cycling Campaign

In this issue:

  • Active travel fund - east/west route

  • Wivenhoe trail

  • Barriers

  • Parking league table

  • Upcoming events

  • Cycle mapping on a phone

  • Campaign website

  • Planning news

Active travel fund — east/west route

We are expecting a decision very soon on the east/west active travel route across Colchester. The Crouch Street part of the design has been controversial with some traders strongly opposing the number of car parking spaces being reduced from 24 to 15. We continue to support the scheme and point out that the new scheme includes a blue badge bay and a full-sized loading bay.

Evidence from other schemes across the country shows that shopkeepers who oppose such projects can change their minds once a scheme has bedded in. Another example is Orford Road, Walthamstow, where a much more restrictive change than Crouch Street was implemented. Retailers carried a coffin to symbolise the “death” of their shops. In fact the shops have thrived and residents support the changes.

If you were the cyclist that we spoke to at the Crouch Street demonstration please get in touch — we’d love to talk more about your support for the plans!

Wivenhoe trail

Several CCC members reported problems along the Wivehoe Trail – and not just the usual overgrowth. Reports have been made to both Colchester and Essex councils of bricks protruding from the path at and overhanging tree stumps (at head height) at We hope both issues will be sorted soon. One part of the path has become especially narrow with tall hedges either side. We have asked for this to be tackled as soon as birds stop nesting.


Working with colleagues at Walk Colchester we have put together a map/spreadsheet of barriers on foot and cycle paths. We thought we had every one … then two more horrors appeared.

The new ones are next to the Via Urbis Romanae, and obstruct the cycle routes into the Kingswood (Severalls) estate, from where a lot of children ride to the Gilberd School.

Why don’t we like barriers? If the traffic engineer has put them too close, they can be impossible to cycle through. Even if there is space they make you go so slowly that it becomes difficult to maintain balance. They also massively impede people with disabilities and non-standard bikes, such as tricycles and cargo bikes.

Essex Highways now uses the government’s LTN 1/20 standards which say that barriers should be an absolute last resort. This is in the Essex Design Portal but it then goes on to give exception after exception, making it so weak as to be useless. We’re on Essex County Council’s case.

While we’re talking about cycling and poorer mobility, this is a good read, talking about people using bicycles as “rolling walking sticks”.

N.B. A guide to writing an FoI request about barriers was produced by the late @crippledcyclist. It is at

Check whether your favourite barrier is on the list by using our map.

Parking league table

How many times have you taken your bike to the shop, only to find the cycle parking nonexistent, poor or hidden behind stacks of compost or trays of geraniums?

CCC put together a table ranking major stores by the quality of their bike parking and rating them gold, silver and bronze. No store won gold. Sainsbury’s in Priory Walk and Asda at Turner Rise were the best, while Wickes in Clarendon Way and Aldi on Cowdray Avenue came bottom. We missed out the Range on Cowdray Avenue but it will be in 2023’s table.

Meanwhile, B&Q in Tollgate is fitting new cycle parking which will include an e-bike charging point.

Read more

Upcoming events

More than 3,500 people attended the first Colchester Eco Festival last year. It was a great success . . . so Eco Festival 2 will be held on Saturday September 3 in Lower Castle Park.

There will be family friendly activities, workshops, health and wellbeing, music, food and more. There will be a large sustainable transport area, with a range of e-bikes and e-cargo bikes and adapted bikes to try out, e-bike/e-cargo bike owners to speak to and lots of local organisations such as Walk Colchester, Wheels for All and Colchester Bike Kitchen. Colchester Cycling Campaign will also be there but we need help! If you can spare a couple of hours to help out on the stall please contact Emily at

Cycle mapping on a phone

Lots of people ask Colchester council for paper maps but they are few and far between and generally used for their active travel promotion stands.

For the best online mapping and route ideas, take a look at this page on the CCC site.

If you tend to ride in unfamiliar areas, or if you’ve just moved to Colchester, perhaps consider the Beeline bike computer which works with your smartphone. You select the route before you set off and it will give you instructions such as “right turn 200m” to keep you on track.

Campaign website

Will has updated the website to take out all mention of Colchester being a town as we are now not only the oldest city in the UK but also one of the three newest. Will has also upgraded the advice index page. Take a look here.

Planning news

213363, Great Horkesley

This scheme is for about 100 houses. ECC and the developer, working at the pre-application stage, have proposed a shared cycle path from Coach Road to Green Lane. It is, however, dreadful. The width is 2.5m rather than the minimum 3m in LTN 1/20, and it runs next to a close-boarded fence and is bound to have street furniture that reduce the width to a ridiculous degree. The proposed junctions are abysmal and fail to meet LTN 1/20 in any way. One even looks to direct cyclists off the path and into oncoming traffic on the A134 before rejoining the path 15m on.

Read the full objection here

TRO, bus stops and cycle routes, Avenue of Remembrance

As part of the plans for the Tendring/Colchester Borders Garden Community (aka Salary Brook New Town) Essex is putting in a rapid transit bus to run from the estate to Cuckoo Farm P&R. This will include “park and choose” bus stops on St Andrew’s Avenue and Cowdray Avenue, which will have short sections of cycle route leading up to sheffield stands at the bus stop. CCC was alarmed to see that these sections were shared use (all cycle routes created with government money should be LTN-compliant). We have asked for a route master plan and an upgrade to the proposed scheme in cycling terms.

Read the full letter here

TRO cycle route, Northern Approach

ECC consulted with CCC extensively on this scheme – and they are to be praised for their cooperation and transparency. The result will be a largely segregated cycle route from Bruff Close (next to the railway station) to just north of Mill Road. We objected to some parts of the scheme and won; others we lost! Work is expected to start next year.

221403, the Beehive, Islamic community centre, Bromley Road

This plan has been knocking around for a fair while and it is the second or third attempt to get planning permission. The cycle parking was placed at the back, away from the front entrance and next to the bins. We have asked for better provision.

Read our response

Ears to the ground/get in touch

If you like what Colchester Cycling Campaign is doing for “transport cyclists”, please tell your family and friends. Point them to our website and ask them to sign up. The more backers we have the more power there is in our pedals.

Not already a CCC member? Join for free today

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