×

£67million funding bid set to be submitted for Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package


20/09/2022
Latest News

Proposed sustainable transport package also includes walking, cycling and Park and Ride improvements to encourage safer, greener and healthier travel in Chelmsford.

Plans to redesign a vital gateway in Chelmsford and transform the way people travel in the city have moved another significant step forward after Essex County Council agreed to submit a £67million funding bid.

The council has agreed to submit an outline business case to the Department for Transport for the proposed Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package – the next stage of the bidding process for Major Road Network (MRN) funding.

Read more

Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package

Current works

About the works 

Site investigation surveys are taking place in the vicinity of the Army and Navy junction in Chelmsford and the Sandon Park and Ride site throughout the coming weeks.

The surveys will give us a better understanding of existing site conditions and help inform the next stage of our design work for the proposed Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package.

They are scheduled to be carried out between Monday 12 September 2022 and Friday 7 October 2022, with works taking place in different locations throughout the works programme. Please be aware that all dates are subject to change.

The majority of the surveys will be carried out off the road network. Surveys requiring traffic management, such as lane closures or temporary traffic lights, will be carried out outside peak times to minimise traffic disruption.

The locations of the surveys are:

  • Army and Navy Roundabout
  • Land in the vicinity of the Army and Navy junction
  • A1060 Parkway
  • A1114 Essex Yeomanry Way
  • A138 Chelmer Road
  • A1114 Princes Road/Van Diemans Road
  • B1009 Baddow Road
  • Moulsham Chase
  • Meadgate Terrace
  • Meadgate Avenue
  • Aldi car park
  • Baddow Road car park
  • Sandon Park and Ride site
  • Land in the vicinity of Sandon Park and Ride site
  • Maldon Road, Sandon

We apologise in advance for any disruption or inconvenience caused by these works.

What is involved and how it may affect you

Various surveys are planned over the coming weeks, including ground investigation, pavement cores and utility surveys.

The surveys will be carried out Monday to Friday, between Monday 12 September 2022 and Friday 7 October 2022.

Working hours will vary. The majority of surveys are taking place off the road network and do not require any traffic management, so will be carried out between 8am and 5pm.

In some locations where the surveys will impact on the road network, traffic management will be required for the safety of workers and the public. Therefore, these surveys will be carried out overnight between the hours of 8pm and 5am to minimise traffic disruption. These will be carefully sequenced to avoid having multiple restrictions in place at the same time and restrictions will be removed at the end of each shift to allow all lanes to remain open during the day.

Access to properties will be maintained at all times and pedestrian/cycling routes will not be affected.

Traffic restrictions

The following traffic restrictions are currently planned. All dates are provisional and subject to change.

  • A1060 Parkway – Overnight lane closures on Parkway between the Odeon Roundabout and the Army and Navy Roundabout (at least one lane to remain open in each direction at all times) on Wednesday 28 September 2022 from 8pm – 5am
  • Army and Navy Roundabout – Overnight inner lane closure on the Army and Navy Roundabout (at least one lane to remain open at all times) on Monday 26 September 2022 from 8pm – 5am
  • A1114 Essex Yeomanry Way –Overnight lane closures on Essex Yeomanry Way on the approach to the Army and Navy Roundabout (at least one lane to remain open in each direction at all times) on Tuesday 27 September 2022 from 8pm – 5am
  • A138 Chelmer Road – Overnight lane closures on Chelmer Road on the approach to the Army and Navy Roundabout (at least one lane to remain open in each direction at all times) on Tuesday 27 September 2022 and Wednesday 28 September 2022 from 8pm – 5am
  • B1009 Baddow Road – Temporary two-way traffic signals between the Army and Navy Roundabout and the junction with Meadgate Terrace (traffic to be maintained in both direction at all times) overnight on Friday 30 September 2022 from 8pm – 5am
  • A1114 Princes Road/Van Diemans Road – Overnight lane closures or temporary two-way traffic signals between Princes Road Roundabout and Army and Navy Roundabout (traffic to be maintained in both direction at all times) on Friday 30 September 2022 from 8pm – 5am
  • Meadgate Avenue – Temporary three-way traffic signals on Meadgate Avenue between the junctions with Baddow Road and Meadgate Terrace on Friday 30 September from 5pm – 10.30pm
  • Maldon Road, Sandon – Overnight lane closures on Maldon Road, Sandon, from Tuesday 27 September 2022 to Friday 30 September from 8pm – 5am

Further information

We aim to keep residents and businesses updated via this webpage. For details about other roadworks in the area, please visit: One.network or the @essexhighways Twitter feed.

If you have any questions about the surveys or our long-term proposals for the Army and Navy junction, please email armyandnavy@essexhighways.org.

About the junction

The Army and Navy junction in Chelmsford is a key gateway into and out of the city and was being used by up to 70,000 vehicles a day and 72 buses an hour prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The junction consists of a five-arm roundabout, which until 2019 had a tidal flyover that carried one-way traffic (cars only) to and from the A1060/A1114 over the roundabout.

The junction is already over capacity during the morning and evening peak times. As a result, it suffers from severe congestion and bus passengers, pedestrians, cyclists and drivers regularly experience delays. This also results in it being a poor-quality environment for all road users.

The situation is expected to get worse in the future unless we do something differently.

To begin to solve the problems, we cannot keep building new roads and need to instead provide better options for people to travel, encouraging safer, greener and healthier ways of getting around the city, especially for shorter journeys where we want walking or cycling to be the natural choice.

The Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package is an opportunity to do just that and we are working very hard to develop a long-term and sustainable solution that is an asset to the city and improves journeys for everyone. 

The planning, development and approval of any scheme is still likely to take a number of years and will require funding to be secured.

Funding is being pursued from the Government's Major Road Network and Large Local Majors programme, and the Department for Transport (DfT) has agreed to continuing work with us in developing a business case for the scheme. The Chancellor announced in the 2020 Spring Budget that the project had been approved to proceed to the next stage of development for consideration for funding. In February 2022, the DfT confirmed the strategic outline business case had been approved and the scheme could move to the next stage of development - an outline business case which identifies a preferred option.

Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package

The Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package is an unmissable opportunity to re-design the Army and Navy junction - a crucial gateway to Chelmsford – while also providing better options for people to travel and encouraging safer, greener, and healthier ways of getting around the city.

By delivering a comprehensive package of measures that encourage increased walking, cycling and Park and Ride travel, alongside an improved Army and Navy junction, we can provide a long-term and sustainable solution, improving journeys for everyone.

Consultation

Having thoroughly assessed a number of potential junction layouts and sustainable transport improvements, we asked you to help shape the final scheme by taking part in our public consultation.

The eight-week public consultation was open from Monday, 9 August 2021 until Sunday, 3 October 2021.

The proposals we consulted on included:

  • Two junction options – a Hamburger Roundabout (a roundabout with a road through the centre of it) and Separate T-junctions
  • A 350-space expansion of Sandon Park and Ride
  • A new Park and Ride site in Widford (two site options were considered)
  • Wider connectivity improvements across the walking and cycling networks

Thank you to everyone who attended our consultation events and participated in the public consultation. We analysed your responses to the consultation and published a consultation report in March 2022. The report can be found in the documents section of this page.

Preferred option and revised package

Having been updated on the public consultation feedback and latest option assessment analysis, the Army and Navy Task Force recommended the Hamburger Roundabout was identified as the preferred junction option in December 2021. 

In March 2022, Essex County Council’s Cabinet formally approved the Hamburger Roundabout as a preferred option. The decision came after public consultation results showed the majority of respondents favoured the hamburger roundabout option. Latest analysis also showed it performed better from a business case and performance perspective, with good average journey time improvements for pedestrians, cyclists, buses and motorised vehicles.

It has also been announced that the proposed Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package will now include a 500-space expansion of the existing Chelmer Valley Park and Ride, instead of a new Park and Ride site in Widford, because of the significant construction costs and greater financial risks with operating any new Park and Ride site, particularly following the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Essex County Council would still like to develop a new Park and Ride site to the west of Chelmsford and hope to be able to take that forward as part of a different project in the future.

The revised Army and Navy Sustainable Package therefore includes:

  • A new Hamburger Roundabout junction layout
  • A 350-space expansion of Sandon Park and Ride
  • A 500-space expansion of Chelmer Valley Park and Ride
  • Wider connectivity improvements across the walking and cycling networks leading to and from the Army and Navy junction

Hamburger Roundabout

Resembling the look of a hamburger, this type of roundabout has a main road running through it. Traffic would be able to travel straight through the centre of the junction between Essex Yeomanry Way and Parkway. Other movements would be made using the roundabout, with traffic signals used to manage flows and priority. The roundabout would predominantly have three lanes around the circulatory, while there would be two lanes in each direction on the road through the middle of central island between Parkway and Essex Yeomanry Way. A left-turn slip road would be created between Chelmer Road and Essex Yeomanry Way.

The proposed design includes significantly improved walking and cycling facilities at ground-level at the junction, replacing the current subway and creating attractive, safe and accessible routes. Fully segregated cycle lanes and direct crossings are proposed, in line with Department for Transport’s latest guidance. Optimised signal timings would help ensure pedestrians and cyclists can travel across the junction safely and quickly. New bus lanes and bus priority measures would be added on Parkway and the bus lane would be extended on Essex Yeomanry Way.

Following additional refinements to planned signal timings, alongside post-consultation design changes, we have been able to enhance estimated journey time improvements for the majority of modes of transport travelling through the junction.

The latest modelled journey time improvements for the Hamburger Roundabout are:

  • Average journey times for cyclists will be 44% quicker
  • Bus journey times will be about 40% faster on average
  • Journeys will be 53% quicker on average for motorised vehicles
  • Walking through the junction at ground level will be about 11% quicker

The series of visualisations below show you how the junction would look and work from the perspectives of different users. Using estimated future traffic levels at morning and evening peak times and our pre-consultation design, the videos allow you to experience realistic journeys through the junction as a pedestrian, cyclist and bus passenger.

The overview video also describes how it would work, highlighting key features and summarising the journey time improvements for different transport users*

*The visualisations were based on the latest designs prior to the public consultation in August 2021, however, the statistics were updated in March 2022 to reflect the revised predicted journey time improvements following post-consultation design changes and refinement to traffic signal timings. There have been further slight changes to these estimates following our latest traffic modelling.

Concept images

Sandon Park and Ride expansion
Hamburger Roundabout

Revised layout proposed for Van Diemans Road

Following feedback during the public consultation, a revised layout is now proposed for Van Diemans Road.

Under the option included in the consultation, a two-way segregated cycleway was proposed on the eastern side of Van Diemans Road and the existing lanes for general traffic were to be maintained (notably, with two lanes northbound/on the approach to the Army and Navy junction). To provide space to accommodate this, it was proposed that existing permit parking bays in Van Diemans Road would be removed.

However, following concerns raised during the consultation and a site visit with residents and the local Essex County Council member in September 2021, a revised layout of Van Diemans Road is now proposed. Additionally, in response to the site visit with residents and the proposed revised layout of Van Diemans Road, four potential options to improve the Lady Lane junction have also been developed and are being considered.

Under the latest proposals for Van Diemans Road, there would be one northbound lane for general traffic (flaring to two at the Army and Navy junction) and a two-way cycleway on the western side of Van Diemans Road, with the existing permit parking bays on Van Diemans re-aligned but retained.

The revised proposals would enable walking and cycling improvements to be made, while slight amendments to the design of the hamburger roundabout and changes to signal timings mean there would still be good peak period journey time improvements for private vehicles on Van Diemans Road. During the evening peak period, journey times would be virtually unchanged from those with the two-lane layout presented at the public consultation and they would actually be improved during the morning peak time.

No final decisions have been made on the potential Lady Lane junction options, and both the revised Van Diemans Road layout and potential Lady Lane junction options remain subject to road safety audits.

Virtual meetings were held on Wednesday 26 January 2022 and Monday 31 January 2022 to update residents. The meeting presentation and a list of the questions raised can be found in the documents section of this page.

Although the revised Van Diemans Road layout and potential Lady Lane junction options are not part of any further formal consultation, the project team will continue to engage residents and partners as the options/proposals are refined and the scheme is developed further.

Sandon Park and Ride expansion

We are proposing an upgrade and approximate 350-space expansion of the existing Sandon Park and Ride site to meet increased demand, both now and in the future. Expansion would be made to the west of the existing site.

Key features:

  • Approximately 1,760 total parking spaces, including designated electric vehicle and parent and child spaces
  • New main access road and clockwise one-way system in car park
  • New large bus turning area to accommodate additional buses and future growth in demand
  • Various pedestrian and cyclist improvements throughout the site, including crossings
  • High quality and secure cycle lockers for overnight bike storage to enable Park and Choose (option to take the bus, walk or cycle to complete your journey)
  • Bus lane extension on Essex Yeomanry Way, including the on-slip from Maldon Road, to give Park and Ride buses greater priority

Chelmer Valley Park and Ride expansion

We are proposing a 500-space expansion of the existing Chelmer Valley Park and Ride site to meet estimated increased demand because of planned growth in the area and further north of Chelmsford. Expansion would be made to the east of the existing site.

Key features:

  • Approximately 1,500 total parking spaces, including designated electric vehicle and parent and child spaces
  • Clockwise one-way system in car park maintained and expanded
  • Various pedestrian and cyclist improvements throughout the site, including crossings and direct cycleway/footway connections between the terminal building and expanded area of the site
  • Additional new cycle lockers for overnight bike storage to enable Park and Choose (option to take the bus, walk or cycle to complete your journey)

Wider walking and cycling improvements

Wider walking and cycling network connectivity improvements are also proposed on the approaches to the Army and Navy junction.

These include:

  • New pedestrian and cycling facilities on Baddow Road, including new crossings on Baddow Road and Meadgate Avenue
  • New cycle route through Meadgate linking to a new cycleway alongside Essex Yeomanry Way, providing an improved route from Great Baddow
  • Fully segregated two-way cycle route on western side of Van Diemans Road
  • New segregated cycleway into the city centre via the River Chelmer route, tying in with the proposed shared use cycleway/footway to the city centre to be created as part of Chelmer Waterside Access Road scheme
  • Connection to existing Chelmer Road to Chelmer Village cycle route

Next steps

Having considered consultation feedback and now identified a preferred junction option, the project team is working hard to prepare the robust evidence needed to secure funding and support the business case for the project. We are also exploring whether any design improvements can be made to enhance our proposals further.

We expect to submit an outline business case to the Department for Transport in Summer 2022.

Based on the current programme, which assumes the necessary land can be obtained through negotiations with the owners, we then hope to submit a planning application in early 2023 and submit a final business case to the Department for Transport in Summer 2024, with construction scheduled to start in early 2025.

We understand people want a solution as quickly as possible and are taking steps to speed things up wherever we can. However, we must also follow Government, legal and planning processes and ensure we achieve the right solution for Chelmsford.

Task Force

A dedicated Army and Navy Taskforce, made up of local representatives and elected members of the Parish, City and County Councils, has been established to drive forward a longer-term solution for the Army and Navy junction and to lobby Government for funding.

The Taskforce is an advisory body, which, in partnership with Essex Highways, is assisting the decision-making process in considering the future of the Army and Navy junction and the immediate transport network.

Members meet on a regular basis to provide feedback and insight to help shape the options being developed and progressed.

The Taskforce has raised the Army and Navy scheme with the Secretary of State for Transport and the Department for Transport. The department’s priorities for the scheme are:

  1. Safeguarding the productivity of Chelmsford
  2. Managing congestion at peak times
  3. Incorporating the scheme into the wider transport vision for Chelmsford

Alongside these priorities, the Department for Transport has stressed the importance of sustainable transport infrastructure.

Minutes of the Army and Navy Task Force meetings are available in the documents section at the bottom of this page. 

Engagement with partners

Community partners have played a vital role in helping shape the future of the Army and Navy junction and will continue to do so as the project develops.

In March 2019, representatives from various groups were invited to attend workshops about the Army and Navy junction. Three events were held - one for businesses, one for transport groups and one for local community groups.

The purpose of these events was to provide an early opportunity for a variety of key audiences to find out more about the background and objectives for the scheme, to discuss the principles and priorities that must be considered and share their knowledge and experiences of the junction.

The feedback captured from these sessions was used to help inform the development of initial options for a long-term solution.

Further workshops with key partners were scheduled for March 2020 but were cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. A written update was sent to partners instead and can be found in the documents section at the bottom of the page.

Further briefing sessions took place virtually in January 2021 and July 2021 and allowed the project team to update partners on the latest progress with the project, the options being taken forward and our plans for public consultation.

Separate briefing sessions also took place in July 2021 to outline our Park and Ride proposals and again in March 2022 after a preferred option had been agreed. The latter also provided an opportunity to update partners on the revised package of measures proposed as part of the project. The presentation slides for the briefings held in March 2022 can be found in the documents section of this webpage.

Removal of the flyover

The Army and Navy flyover was a feature of the Chelmsford skyline for more than 40 years and its removal was a crucial step in a new era for transport in the city.

The flyover was the subject of a number of closures during summer 2018 after movement of a supporting column following record high temperatures. Having been safely reopened, it was closed again in July 2019 after similar defects were identified.

On 16 September 2019, it was confirmed that the flyover would be closed permanently on safety grounds following the recommendation of a detailed engineering report, which revealed new defects within the concrete foundations.

The flyover was successfully removed in 2020. The project started in February 2020 and the steel and concrete structure was taken down section by section before being transported away for dismantling and recycling.

Works to remove the flyover itself were completed in mid-March 2020, with follow-on activity to close off the crossover areas and make the site safe finished in April 2020.

A video of the historic project has since been added to the Essex Record Office digital archive.

Key facts about the junction

  • The Army and Navy junction is already operating significantly over capacity during the AM and PM peak times
  • 72 buses an hour use the Army and Navy in the AM peak
  • Each day, up to 70,000 vehicles use the junction (pre-COVID but post-flyover removal). About 10,000 vehicles a day used the flyover prior to its closure
  • A significant number of journeys to work in Chelmsford are made by private vehicle but are less than 5km in length
  • If everyone in Chelmsford were to switch just two of their journeys to work (including to the train station) each week to sustainable modes, this would remove 165,000 trips from the network

Vision and strategy 

The vision for Chelmsford is to have a transport system which is best in class, offering enhanced connectivity, access and choice to residents, commuters, visitors and businesses.

The Chelmsford Future Transport Network Strategy sets the approach to the city’s transport network to provide real choice.

Through a zonal approach, it prioritises specific modes of transport in different areas of Chelmsford, with an increasing focus on sustainable travel towards the city centre.

The Army and Navy junction is on the border of the central and mid zones, meaning any scheme should prioritise sustainable travel measures such as walking, cycling and buses.

Consultation documents

Full Version 

Public consultation brochure - PDF(4.3mb)

Audio read through narrated by Chelmsford Talking Newspaper - MP3(50mb)

Easy Read

Easy read public consultation brochure - PDF(2.8mb)

Audio easy read read through from Chelmsford Talking Newspaper - MP3(14.5mb)

Questions and Answers

Select a question to reveal/hide the answer:

Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package

The Chelmsford Future Transport Network Strategy sets the approach to the city’s transport network to provide real choice. Through a zonal approach, it prioritises specific modes of transport in different areas of Chelmsford, with an increasing focus on sustainable travel towards the city centre. The Army and Navy junction is on the border of the central and mid zones, meaning any scheme should focus on sustainable travel measures such as walking, cycling and buses.

In addition to our local vision and strategy, the Government has also made it very clear that future transport schemes must include sustainable measures in order to achieve a successful business case and secure funding. This point has been reiterated by the Department for Transport specifically in relation to the Army and Navy project.

We recognise not everyone is physically able to walk or cycle and also that it is not possible for longer distance trips. This project is about making improvements for all modes of transport and increasing people’s travel options.

By encouraging those who can walk or cycle to do so, we can not only improve people’s health and wellbeing, but also free up capacity on the roads for those people whose journeys to have to be made by car.

We have assessed the junction options based on a number of different scenarios. This includes using initial factors set by the Department for Transport DfT) based on the likely impacts of the pandemic on traffic and the economy. We are expecting updated guidance from the DfT in the autumn and, if required, will update our assessment accordingly.

We are aware of the Active Travel proposals, however at the time of undertaking our assessment of the options, there was no committed scheme and therefore we were unable to take it into account in our option assessment. If required, we will update our assessment once a final scheme is agreed.

As outlined previously, we are unable to take uncommitted schemes into consideration when assessing options and, therefore, have not assessed what impact the Moulsham ‘quartering’ proposals would have on the Army and Navy junction and our options.

Essex County Council is in the process of analysing the Active Travel consultation responses but has acknowledged that the Moulsham ‘quartering’ proposals do not have widespread support and said it will work with Chelmsford City Council and the Chelmsford Active Travel Steering Group on what else it can do to make cycling and walking safer and more accessible in the three areas of Chelmsford covered by the proposals.

Based on the current programme, which assumes the necessary land needed for the project can be obtained through negotiations with the owners, construction of the junction layout improvement scheme is expected to start in autumn 2024 and be completed in autumn 2026. This is subject to funding being secured and planning, legal and Government approval processes.

The duration of the construction programme for the final junction scheme will be dependent on which of the remaining options is progressed. It would therefore vary slightly between the two options, however, it would be expected to be about 18 to 24 months. In order to create the additional Park and Ride capacity needed to meet the predicted increase in demand during construction and to help minimise disruption, it is hoped that Sandon Park and Ride site could be expanded in advance of the works at the junction. We will also ensure that all construction works are carefully coordinated and sequenced to avoid clashing with any other major works in the area wherever possible.

We understand people want a solution at the Army and Navy junction as quickly as possible and we do as well, however we must also follow Department for Transport, legal and planning processes and ultimately ensure we achieve the right scheme for Chelmsford. Very detailed evidence is needed in order to make the case and secure Government funding for any major transport scheme. Steps have already been taken to reduce the project programme wherever possible and every effort is being made to identify further opportunities. We are also exploring whether any elements of the Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package, such as expansion of Sandon Park and Ride, can be started in advance of the junction layout improvement works.

Funding has yet to be secured but is being pursued from the Government's Major Road Network and Large Local Majors programme. The Chancellor announced in the 2020 Spring Budget that the project has been approved to proceed to the next stage of development for consideration for funding and the Department for Transport (DfT) has agreed to continuing work with us in developing a strategic outline business case for the scheme. The award of funding will be dependent on presenting a successful business case.

The Army and Navy junction is a complex five-arm roundabout. A solution is not easy and, despite several investigations over the years, there is no quick fix and funding has not been available to pursue long-term improvements at the junction. Following the adoption of the Chelmsford Future Transport Network Strategy and permanent closure of the flyover, we were in a much stronger position to develop a long-term and sustainable solution and to pursue Government funding.

No. While COVID-19 has undoubtedly had a significant impact on Essex County Council and will continue to do so in the future as the world recovers from the pandemic, we remain as committed as ever to progressing the scheme. The Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package represents an opportunity to transform travel in Chelmsford and create a lasting legacy at this vital gateway and throughout the city.

This webpage is updated regularly with the latest news on the project. You can also subscribe to our Army and Navy email newsletter.

Junction options

During the various stages of the option assessment process, we have ruled out lower performing junction options to focus our efforts on those that would make a real difference. It would not have been appropriate to include any of the other options in the consultation because they do not perform well enough to be considered as a preferred option and taken forward.

The remaining junction options (Hamburger Roundabout and Separate T-Junctions), together with the other measures proposed as part of the Army and Navy

Sustainable Transport Package, offer the best opportunity to provide a long-term and sustainable solution which would improve journeys for everyone.

Our option assessment is based on the current situation at the junction and, therefore, after the former flyover was closed (and subsequently removed). This is standard practice as there is a need to ensure the current situation is reflected in line with the Department for Transport’s transport appraisal process, which must be followed in order to stand the best chance of a successful business case and securing funding. The assessment statistics contained within our consultation materials are therefore based on comparisons with the current situation.

No U-turns would be possible at the junction with the Separate T-Junctions option and drivers wanting to travel in that direction would therefore have to use alternative routes, for example via Van Diemans Road or Chelmer Road.

No direct turns could be made from Baddow Road to Essex Yeomanry Way or Chelmer Road and from Van Diemans Road to Baddow Road. These movements could not be safely catered for within the design of the option. The movements would instead be made by using alternative routes, such as performing a U-turn at the Odeon roundabout.

No, based on the latest designs for both the Hamburger Roundabout and Separate T-Junctions options, we do not need to acquire any residential properties.

The existing left-turn slip road was constructed as a planning condition ahead of the opening of the Aldi store. It was not possible to retain the slip road within the Hamburger Roundabout option design while also providing segregated pedestrian and cyclist crossings that comply with the latest Department for Transport guidance.

The slip road could not be retained as part of the Separate T-Junctions design because the option involves a total redesign of the area to create two completely new junctions, with the new junction between Parkway and Chelmer Road a significant distance from where the two roads currently join.

New bus lanes and bus priority measures would be added in both directions on Parkway and existing measures would be maintained on Essex Yeomanry Way and into the junction as part of both junction options, giving buses priority over general traffic. Two lanes are maintained for general traffic on Parkway as part of both options.

The eastbound bus lane in the Hamburger Roundabout option ends with a bus gate just prior to the Aldi/B&M turning, while the bus lane in the Separate T-Junctions option continues close to the first of the two new T-Junctions.

We have not yet determined which additional vehicles would be able to use the proposed bus lanes.

There are no perfect solutions and no scheme would remove all queuing and delays at the junction, but we now have two options which offer the best balance for all transport users, including improved average journey times for private vehicles.

Rather than give a false impression of what the options could achieve, we wanted the visualisations to give people a realistic idea of the journeys they would experience at the junction. We used estimated future traffic levels at morning and evening peak times in the visualisations, so they represent traffic at its highest levels.

We have tried our best to create high quality visualisations that provide a realistic impression of the two junction options. In order to achieve this, we used traffic modelling data and software to replicate predicted vehicle numbers, flows and movements, and then combined this with animation software to bring the options to life. The traffic modelling software deliberately attempts to replicate poor driver behaviour, such as late or incorrect lane changes. Unfortunately, due to software constraints and compatibility, this is not something we could always rectify.

As outlined above, we used a combination of traffic modelling and animation software to create the visualisations in order to provide a realistic impression of the two options. Although lorries and other heavy goods vehicles are included within our traffic modelling, due to some limitations and compatibility issues with the software, it was not possible to include these vehicles within the visualisations.

The decision was taken to rule out the Enlarged Roundabout ahead of public consultation because it would not meet the project objectives as well as the other two options. When accompanied by enhanced walking and cycling facilities at the junction, it would not sufficiently improve the junction for motorised vehicles and would be unlikely to secure funding. On the basis it would not be taken forward as a preferred option, it would have been misleading and inappropriate to include the option in the consultation.

Design standards have changed significantly since the previous Army and Navy flyover was first built in 1978. A modern standard two-way flyover would therefore be much bigger than the previous flyover and would take up considerably more space. It would be the worst option for increasing city centre traffic and congestion and would not supporting the Park and Ride or walking and cycling aspirations of our adopted Chelmsford Future Transport Network Strategy as well when compared with the other options. The flyover would also have the largest noise impact and the longest and most disruptive construction programme, which would have the biggest impact on the local economy.

A new one-way flyover was considered earlier in the project but was discounted because it would take up almost as much road space as a two-way flyover and have a similar cost but would provide fewer benefits. Notably, traffic travelling out of the city during the morning peak would need to merge lanes which would cause delays and a potential safety issue. This would also cause additional delays on other approaches to the junction such as Chelmer Road.

Ultimately we want the Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package to improve journeys for all transport users, including pedestrians, cyclists, bus passengers and drivers. While that does include reducing congestion and delays for vehicles, the project is a very difficult balancing act and we must be mindful about the impacts of the options on walking, cycling and Park and Ride usage, as well as the potential for causing increased congestion and delays elsewhere in the city centre, notably at the Odeon roundabout, by letting too much traffic through the junction. The Chelmsford Future Transport Network Strategy sets out a clear vision to transform transport in Chelmsford through a zonal approach, with a strong focus on walking, cycling and bus travel, particularly towards the city centre, and it is crucial that the Army and Navy project aligns with that vision and strategy.

An underpass or tunnel for vehicles was discounted very early in the project. Given the location of the flood plain and the underground utilities at the junction, the option would be very complex and expensive to construct and would offer no additional benefits than the two-way flyover. Like the flyover, it would also encourage more vehicle trips into the city centre, rather than supporting the Park and Ride, walking and cycling, which goes against our adopted Chelmsford Future Transport Network Strategy.

Park and Rides

As part of the Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package, we need to provide better options for people to travel and to encourage safer, greener and healthier ways of getting around the city.

We are proposing an upgrade and approximate 350-space expansion of the Sandon Park and Ride site to meet increased demand, both now and in the future.

A new Park and Ride in Widford has also been a long-standing aspiration for both Essex County Council and Chelmsford City Council and is now being proposed as part of the Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package to provide greater travel options and enable sustainable growth of the city.

We are considering two potential sites in Widford – one off the A414 London Road (Three Mile Hill) and one off the A414 Greenbury Way. At this stage we have not decided on a preferred site.

Although passenger numbers have significantly decreased as a result of the pandemic, we fully expect usage to recover in time.

We have already assessed our proposals based on a number of different scenarios. This includes using initial factors set by the Department for Transport DfT) based on the likely impacts of the pandemic on traffic and the economy. We are expecting updated guidance from the DfT in the autumn and, if required, will update our assessment accordingly.

In line with the Chelmsford Future Transport Network Strategy, bus travel will play a key role in reducing travel demand in the city and we must continue to encourage people to use sustainable alternatives to driving. The Government has also been very clear about its aims to get more people travelling by bus and improve and reform services, as outlined in its Bus Back Better national bus strategy.

A full bus can remove up to 40 cars from the road network, helping reduce congestion and carbon emissions. The important role buses can play in reducing transport emissions is supported in the Government’s recently-published Transport Decarbonisation plan (Decarbonising transport: a better, greener Britain).

It is hoped that initial works at the Sandon Park and Ride site can begin before improvements at the Army and Navy junction so that additional capacity is available to meet the predicted increase in demand during construction and help minimise disruption. Works at Sandon are estimated to take about nine months in total and would be phased, with specific areas of the site closed in turn, to ensure the Park and Ride service remains open throughout.

No final decisions have been made, but we will look to retain the existing wind turbine and art installation within the revised site layout if possible.

We are considering extending the existing bus lane on Essex Yeomanry Way to include the on-slip between Maldon Road and Essex Yeomanry Way to avoid buses potentially queuing on the slip road, notably during construction works at the Army and Navy junction. This would give buses priority over other traffic and improve journey time reliability for Park and Ride services.

A bus lane is also proposed within the Sandon Park and Ride site between the relocated bus terminal and the access junction, enabling buses to exit promptly and enhancing services.

As part of the London Road site option, a new bus lane and bus gate are proposed on the northbound A414 London Road from the new Park and Ride access junction to approximately 100m south of Widford Roundabout, giving buses priority over other traffic.

As part of the Greenbury Way option, a new bus lane and bus gate are proposed on the eastbound A414 Greenbury Way on the approach to Widford Roundabout, giving buses priority over other traffic.

As part of both options, a bus lane is also proposed between the bus terminal and the access junction, enabling buses to exit promptly and enhancing services.

As part of the London Road Widford Park and Ride option, we are proposing to close the existing cross-over area on London Road approximately 100m south of Widford Roundabout, which currently enables residents and businesses alongside the southbound carriageway to cross onto the northbound carriageway and head back towards the city centre. This closure is necessary to enable a new bus lane and bus gate to be created on the northbound A414 London Road, giving buses priority over other traffic to improve Park and Ride journey times. There would also be insufficient space between the carriageways for waiting vehicles and a significant level difference between the two carriageways, making it unsafe for those using the cross-over area. A design drawing which illustrates the current proposals and the cross-over area we proposing to remove is available in the ‘Documents’ section at the bottom of this page.

We appreciate that the removal of the cross-over area could cause some inconvenience and are therefore proposing to provide a dedicated turning facility within the Park and Ride site to enable vehicles to promptly turn around and exit northbound towards the city centre. The turning facility would be traffic light controlled and open 24 hours a day.

From October, a new mobile ticketing system called MiPermit will be introduced at the two existing Park and Ride sites in Chelmsford (Sandon and Chelmer Valley), The MiPermit app will replace the current ticket payment system and will enable customers to register their vehicles when making a payment. This will improve people’s experience of the Park and Ride, as well as enabling the car parks to be patrolled and, if necessary, enforced to prevent people parking in the sites without taking the bus. Those without a smart phone or unable to download the app will be able to pay on board the bus by either cash or contactless but must register their vehicle in the Park and Ride terminal building each time they visit.

It is anticipated that the MiPermit mobile ticketing system would also be introduced at the new Widford Park and Ride site once it opens.

We are keen to develop a Park and Choose offering at the Park and Ride sites, where people have the option to take the bus, walk or cycle to complete their journey, and are planning to explore potential walking and cycling routes from Sandon Park and Ride and the new Widford Park and Ride to help enable this. The likely costs of these services have not been decided.

As part of our Safer Greener Healthier campaign, we’re working with Spin on electric (e) scooter trials in six areas of Essex, including Chelmsford. The Government’s Department for Transport (DfT) has made orders that only the designated hire scooters are legal for the trial period and in the trial areas. Any e-scooters used anywhere other than the trial areas remain illegal (unless used on private land).

The Government will take the final decisions on the results of the trials and determine whether e-scooters can be legalised for wider use, but criteria will include how many people use them, safe use and benefits in replacing car journeys.

Depending on the outcome of the trials and any decisions from Government, we may consider including e-scooters as a further option at the Park and Ride sites for people to complete their journeys.

Walking and cycling improvements

Both junction options include significantly improved walking and cycling facilities at ground-level at the junction, replacing the current subway and creating attractive, safe and accessible routes. This includes fully segregated cycle lanes and direct crossings, in line with the Department for Transport’s latest guidance. Optimised signal timings would also help ensure that pedestrians and cyclists can travel across the junction safely and quickly.

In addition, wider improvements are proposed on the approaches to the junction on Baddow Road, Van Diemans Road and Essex Yeomanry Way, as well as connections to the existing Chelmer Road to Chelmer Village and Parkway/River Chelmer routes. The details of many of these connections and routes are still being investigated, however they will include a proposed two-way segregated cycleway on the eastern side of Van Diemans Road, between the existing toucan crossing on Princes Road and the Army and Navy junction.

Potential new cycle corridors from Sandon Park and Ride and a proposed new Widford Park and Ride are also being considered to enable a potential Park and Choose service, where people can choose to complete their journey by bus, walking or cycling. Again, routes are still being investigated and no decisions have been made.

Investing in all of these facilities will create a more coherent network for pedestrians and cyclists, helping encourage more people to walk and cycle into the city centre and reducing car journeys, which has significant economic, social, health and environmental benefits.

We believe the pedestrian and cycle route improvement measures proposed at the Army and Navy junction itself offer a better alternative on the basis they would be suitable all year round, benefit from better lighting conditions and provide a more direct route.

In order to encourage more people to walk and cycle in Chelmsford, we need to provide high quality facilities that are attractive and accessible to everyone. If we were to include a subway under the Army and Navy junction, the space required for the ramps would not allow us to provide the vastly improved ground level walking and cycling facilities that we are proposing for both options. We know that many people feel unsafe using subways, especially at night, and that ramps can be difficult for people to negotiate. By not building a subway, it allows us to provide the best quality ground level facilities that we can – fully segregated walking and cycling routes that are wide, attractive and available to all users.

To encourage increased walking and cycling through the junction, we are proposing to create significantly enhanced walking and cycling facilities both at the junction itself and on the approaches. This includes a proposed new two-way segregated cycleway on the eastern side of Van Diemans Road, between the existing toucan crossing on Princes Road and the Army and Navy junction, providing connectivity with existing cycling network. To ensure there is the necessary space to create these new facilities, widen the existing footway on the eastern side and maintain two lanes for general traffic on the approach to the Army and Navy junction, we are proposing to remove the existing permit parking bays on both the eastern and western side of Van Diemans Road.

All access to properties and driveways would be maintained, and we would work with those currently without any other parking to find appropriate alternative options.

A design drawing which illustrates the current proposals and the permit parking bays we are proposing to remove is available in the ‘Documents’ section at the bottom of this webpage.

Potential new cycle corridors from Sandon Park and Ride and a proposed new Widford Park and Ride are also being considered to enable a potential Park and Choose service, where people can choose to complete their journey by bus, walking or cycling. Routes are still being investigated and no decisions have been made. The routes shown on the maps within our consultation materials are, therefore, illustrative only.

Exact routes will be explored as part of the next phase of the project and we will engage with key partners, including walking and cycling groups, to get their views once options have been investigated.

Planning and background

The Chelmsford Future Transport Network Strategy outlines a strategy for Chelmsford’s future transport network to make all modes of transport attractive and give people real choice in the way they travel, helping to keep the city moving, protect the environment and support further growth. It sets the following vision for Chelmsford to 2036: “For Chelmsford's transport system to become 'best in class’, rivalling similar cities across the UK, offering enhanced connectivity and access to opportunities for residents, visitors and businesses to support the sustainable economic growth of the city.”

The strategy focuses on the type of journey (short, medium and long distance) and is achieved through a zonal approach, with greater emphasis on more sustainable modes towards the centre of the city. In order to achieve the vision and objectives, the approach is based on applying different types of schemes to different zones to address the transportation issues facing Chelmsford both now and in the future.

More information is available on the Chelmsford Future Transport Network Strategy page.

Yes, we have taken into account all planned growth detailed in Chelmsford City Council’s new Local Plan, including the proposed Chelmer Waterside and East of Great Baddow developments. We will continue to liaise with developers as the proposals are developed.

The decision to allow the construction of the food store was made by Chelmsford City Council as the local planning authority. We were, however, consulted as the highways authority and stipulated that Aldi needed to provide land for the dedicated left slip road between Parkway and Chelmer Road, which was constructed in 2016 – well in advance of the store.

The Chelmer Viaduct scheme was a Highways England project to replace and upgrade the previous 1930s bridge. The Army and Navy junction is Essex County Council’s responsibility and improvements to the junction would have been outside of the scope of the Chelmer Viaduct project. In addition, funding was not available and options for a long-term solution had yet to be explored.

Although it is difficult to predict people’s travel behaviours post COVID-19, there is still growth planned in and around Chelmsford that means we expect the Army and Navy junction to continue to be a key gateway into and out of the city. We have used the DfT’s latest guidance on post COVID-19 transport modelling to assess the need for intervention and we believe that improvements to the junction are still required. The Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package represents an opportunity to create a lasting legacy at the junction, providing greater options for people to travel and encouraging safer, greener and healthier ways of getting around the city.

We have already assessed the different junction options based on a number of different scenarios. This includes using initial factors set by the Department for Transport DfT) based on the likely impacts of the pandemic on traffic and the economy. We are expecting updated guidance from the DfT in the autumn and, if required, will update our assessment accordingly.

Live webcast questions

The following questions were raised during the live webcast on Wednesday 25 August and were unable to be answered on the call during the time available. The answers provided were accurate at the time of publishing in 2021.

We are using a strategic model which allows traffic to reassign to alternative routes when additional capacity is created on the road network. When additional capacity is created at a junction, more traffic is typically attracted to that junction.

With the Hamburger Roundabout option in place there is an increase in capacity at the entrance to the Army and Navy junction from Baddow Road. In the evening peak, more vehicles are able to enter the roundabout because there are fewer vehicles heading from Chelmer Road into the city centre, which makes it easier to enter the roundabout.

Park and Ride demand is primarily from people living some distance from Chelmsford and from various different locations. It would not therefore be viable to run separate bus services through each of those distant, residential locations.

The current administrations at Essex County Council and Chelmsford City Council have been clear that they do not favour road pricing and there are no such proposals being considered. The current strategy aims to provide alternatives to the private car, which will reduce the reliance on private vehicles.

There has been no specific assessment. However, our proposals reduce average travel time at the junction for pedestrians and cyclists, which will reduce their exposure to air pollution in the area. In addition, air quality is expected to improve in general as traffic becomes less polluting through improvements in vehicle technology.

No exceedances of the annual mean NO2 Air Quality Objectives – thresholds of air pollutants set to protect to human health – are predicted at sensitive receptors (areas where the occupants are more susceptible to adverse effects of exposure to air pollutants) within the existing Air Quality Management Area between the Army and Navy and the Odeon Roundabout or the wider study area for the opening year (2026) of the Army and Navy scheme.

Widening the Chelmer Viaduct is not part of our proposals and is deemed outside the scope of this project. The options would, however, improve bus journey times from Chelmer Road towards the city centre in the morning peak.

Once a preferred junction option has been identified and our designs progress further, we will look at flood mitigation measures in more detail. If the use of stilts would be an appropriate measure then they will be considered.

The following questions were raised during the live webcast on Thursday 9 September and were unable to be answered on the call during the time available. The answers provided were accurate at the time of publishing in 2021.

The proposed segregated cycleway would be built in accordance with the latest Department for Transport guidance, including recommended widths and curvatures. If this requires additional land then this will be investigated at a later stage.

Hamburger Roundabouts are a standard form of junction in the UK. Any new junction is accompanied with ‘new layout ahead’ signs, which help drivers recognise the need to take additional care while they get used to the junction. However, we do not envisage any problem with people being able to understand the permanent signage because it is only the straight-ahead movements between Essex Yeomanry Way and Parkway that use the hamburger. All other movements use the roundabout as normal.

The traffic modelling used to assess the junction options is based on detailed origin and destination information taken from anonymous mobile phone data. This is much more accurate than traditional origin and destination surveys. As a result, we know where the users of Baddow Road are going to and from.

Yes. The key advantages of the Separate T-Junctions are that the routes for pedestrians and cyclists are shorter when crossing the main roads and there are greater opportunities for landscaping improvements.

We do not currently envisage any publicly-funded electric car hire or cycle hire at the Park and Ride sites, however if there was a privately-funded opportunity which we felt would benefit the public then this could be considered.

The Essex County Council strategic development team are in discussions with the developer regarding strategic cycle facilities throughout the site, in line with their strategic movement and access study.

Any proposed new Widford Park and Ride site would be designed to meet the Lead Local Flood Authority and the Environment Agency’s requirements for surface water run-off and flood risk management so that water quality of the River Wid and flood risk is not adversely affected.

Yes, we have taken into account all planned growth detailed in Chelmsford City Council’s new Local Plan, including the proposed Chelmer Waterside and East of Great Baddow developments. We will continue to liaise with developers as the proposals are developed.

No, there are no plans to widen Baddow Road due to physical constraints. A key aim of the Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package is to encourage people to use other forms of transport to reduce the number of cars on the road network, including in Baddow Road.

Funding has yet to be secured but is being pursued from the Government's Major Road Network and Large Local Majors programme. The Chancellor announced in the 2020 Spring Budget that the project has been approved to proceed to the next stage of development for consideration for funding and the Department for Transport (DfT) has agreed to continuing work with us in developing a strategic outline business case for the scheme. The award of funding will be dependent on presenting a successful business case. If funding is not secured through this route then Essex County Council would look to explore other funding sources.

Modelled average peak period traffic at Widford Roundabout in 2041 would increase between 0.5%-1.6% compared with a no Widford Park and Ride scenario.

In order to encourage more people to walk and cycle in Chelmsford, we need to provide high quality facilities that are attractive and accessible to everyone. If we were to include a subway under the Army and Navy junction, the space required for the ramps would not allow us to provide the vastly improved ground level walking and cycling facilities that we are proposing for both options. We know that many people feel unsafe using subways, especially at night, and that ramps can be difficult for people to negotiate. By not building a subway, it allows us to provide the best quality ground level facilities that we can – fully segregated walking and cycling routes that are wide, attractive and available to all users.

We expect to make a decision about a preferred junction option this winter (2021/22).

There is no net requirement for the scheme, beyond improving journeys for all transport users. A key aim is to make walking, cycling and bus travel more attractive, which will help reduce traffic on the roads, while also improving the junction for private vehicles.

One-way operation of Baddow Road at peak times, with buses and cyclists only heading into the city centre, was previously considered by Essex County Council, but was not taken forward due to a lack of public support. There are currently no plans to reconsider this.

If you have questions about the project, please email armyandnavy@essexhighways.org

 

Documents

Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package - Local Junction Modelling Results - 13/09/22 - PDF(181.5KB)

Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package - Partner briefing slides (March 2022) - PDF(3.5MB)

Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package - Cycling groups briefing slides (March 2022) - PDF(3.5MB)

Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package - Public Consultation Report - PDF(4.0MB)

Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package - Van Diemans Road resident meetings presentation - PDF(2.1MB)

Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package - Van Diemans Road resident meetings questions and answers - PDF(153.0KB)

Army and Navy Sustainable Transport Package - Local Junction Modelling Results - 10/08/21 - PDF(169.2KB)

Meeting Minutes 15/10/2018 - PDF(178.2KB)

Meeting Minutes 10/12/2018 - PDF(100.9KB)

Meeting Minutes 04/02/2019 - PDF(114.4KB)

Meeting Minutes 17/06/2019 - PDF(131.2KB)

Meeting Minutes 15/07/2019 - PDF(13.7KB)

Meeting Minutes 27/09/2019 - PDF(106.7KB)

Meeting Minutes 24/01/2020 - PDF(95.2KB)

Meeting Minutes 28/07/2020 - PDF(133.0KB)

Meeting Minutes 04/12/2020 - PDF(150.1KB)

Meeting Minutes 22/01/2021 - PDF(153.4KB)

Meeting Minutes 09/04/2021 - PDF(141.4KB)

Meeting Minutes 04/06/2021 - PDF(148.5KB)

Meeting Minutes 02/07/2021 - PDF(103.8KB)

Widford Park and Ride site locations plan - PDF(4.3MB)

Widford Park and Ride (London Road site) design drawing - PDF(2.0MB)

Van Diemans Road design drawing - PDF(1.0MB)

Workshop information slides - PDF(1.6MB)

Stakeholder update - April 2020 - PDF(2.6MB)

Army and Navy Junction Improvements - Public Information Brochure - PDF(11.7MB)