24 Jun 2016

No to Lexden Road Bus Lane

I'm not opposed to bus lanes in principle, far from it, but this plan to remove the two cycle lanes on Lexden Road to make way for an unnecessary bus lane is driving me round the bend.

The proposal is for a town-bound bus lane along Lexden Road from Glen Ave to the roundabout at Balkerne Hill- Southway-Maldon Road junction. The plan includes that: pavements will be narrowed and be shared use (cyclists and pedestrians) on the south side and maybe also the north, town-bound side; and traffic calming islands will be removed.

Lexden Road Bus Lane Proposal

From www.essexhighways.org (emphasis added):
The proposed Lexden Road Bus Lane scheme would provide bus priority eastbound along Lexden Road, towards the town centre.  It would include a bus lane to the northern side of the carriageway and convert the existing footway on the southern side to a shared-use footway/cycleway, with associated kerb-line, signage and road marking changes. 
An informal consultation event was held 1600-1930 on Monday 13 June at the Colchester Royal Grammar School on Lexden Road, to present the plans associated with the proposed scheme and seek feedback. 

The business case

The business case to SE LEP states the scheme objectives are defined as to:
  1. reduce congestion at key points on the network
  2. make best use of existing public transport services
  3. promote, encourage and support sustainable journeys along the corridors
  4. improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions
  5. promote healthy and active lifestyles
  6. support housing and job growth
LGFSE27_Colchester Town Centre_Business Case.doc has this to say (emphasis added):
Lexden Road Bus Lane
This requires carriageway widening in order to introduce a new eastbound bus lane along Lexden Road / Southway between the junction with Glen Avenue / Lexden Road and the Maldon Road roundabout.  It also consists of the provision of bus priority signals on Southway at the eastbound approach to the Maldon Road roundabout.  (The scheme was originally identified within the West Colchester and Stanway Travel Strategy document.) As this lane is in addition to the current two-way flow, bus journey times will be improved without adversely affecting car users.  This improvement should aid bus patronage. [The Strategic Case, 1. Project Description]
Public consultations will be undertaken for Brook Street and Lexden Road Bus Lane.  TROs will be required to support the scheme and will be published in a timely manner.[Case for Change. 4. Risks. 4.1]
The Lexden Road Bus Lane scheme will be delivered through the Eastern Highways Alliance or an equivalent.  The benefits of this approach are as follows:
• Proven track record of delivery and existing partnership arrangement
• Scale and complexity of this component of the package warrants the use of contractors who are used to dealing with bigger and more complex schemes.
• The utilisation of the Framework is endorsed by the ECC procurement team. [Commercial Case - 6. Procurement Route - Lexden Road Bus Lane]

Who to complain to

Feedback needs to go to ColchesterTC@essexhighways.org before 11am on 4 July 2016. This is the advertised cut off date after which we would guess some form of analysis of the feedback takes place and key people will make the decision to stop the process or go to formal consultation (TRO).

In the local papers:

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