Bunny Walks, Chelmsford, cycling improvements

Background and problem

The Bunny Walks in Chelmsford is a popular and important route for walkers and cyclists travelling between the city centre and key destinations such as Broomfield and Springfield.

Currently, some of the paths along the Bunny Walks are uneven and narrow. The route is also shared by both cyclists and pedestrians meaning it is vital to ensure the safety of all users of the route. While there is limited opportunity to widen the paths, due to property boundaries and the river, we recognise the need to improve safety and encourage greater use of the route by providing better sustainable transport options in and out of the city.

Image of the Bunny Walks route with a gate across the entrance

Aim and proposals

This scheme focuses on improvements to the section of cycleway along Bunny Walks between Victoria Road and Hillview Road, a route approximately 570m in length. The improvements to this route will specifically focus on ride quality and safety.

This will complement recent works which have taken place along this route as part of the Safer Streets Funding from the Government, including CCTV cameras with infrared technology and cutting back vegetation to provide more open space and help combat crime.

The works as part of this scheme will focus on the following:

  • Reconstruction and resurfacing of the route and new tactile paving
  • Upgrade of the toucan crossing on Victoria Road with a new widened crossing facilities and tie in with the facilities on the Riverside Leisure Centre side of the road.
  • General cycling provision upgrades
  • Swapping the walking and cycling sides of the path to match the facilities on the Riverside Leisure Centre side of Victoria Road.
  • Retained segregated (separate) walking and cycling provision
  • Improvement of surface and parapet detail to the cycling/footbridge over the river.

These works focus mainly on upgrades and enhancement of the existing route, ensuring improved ride quality and safety.

View the diagrams of the route below. Please hover to pause the slide.

Plan of section 1

The existing Toucan Crossing on Victoria Road will be widened to 4.8m and upgraded. The shared cycling and pedestrian facilities will tie into the shared cycling facilities by Riverside Leisure Centre, with the walking and cycling sides of the path swopped to match that on the Riverside Leisure Centre side of Victoria Road. A footway widening is proposed on the left-hand side of the cycle way after the crossing. Proposed tactile paving will also be at the crossing. New markings will be placed on, and on approach to, the crossing.

Plan of section 2

A shared improved cycleway and footpath will continue along the route and over the bridge across the River Chelmer. Edging will be provided along this part of the route on approach to the bridge. The shared path will continue around to the left following the bridge. Further edging will be provided along this part of the route.

Plan of section 3

The improved route will continue, running parallel with the river. Edging is also proposed along some of this part of the route.

Plan of section 4

The route continues along the path and through the bridge under the train tracks. The route will split into two and the corner, one will continue through the gate leading to Hill View Road while the other will go left to continue to run parallel with the river. The path along the river will have new edging and the existing cycling and footway path will be widened from 2.5m to 4m. The route towards the gate will have a relocation of the gate and the path will be widened on either side of the gate. Tactile paving will also be provided after the current gate position.

Next steps

Various considerations need to be addressed for the site, including environmental and ecology, as well as the River Chelmer and flood plain considerations.

Discussions with the environmental and safety teams will need to take place to ensure these considerations are addressed and the effect of works are minimised.

Funding has been committed to the scheme and works are planned to be delivered this year and into 2023.

Further information on these works will be posted on this page once dates are confirmed.