Safer, Greener, Healthier Braintree

Due to its large rural location and fragmented bus and cycle networks, Braintree has a high reliance on car use, with car ownership - at 83% - higher than the regional or national average. With traffic returning to pre-pandemic levels, it’s important to make changes to meet our carbon zero targets, cut air pollution and reduce congestion so that the town can be used and enjoyed for generations to come.

Walking, cycling, or using public transport for a short journey just twice a week could see a reduction of 50,000 car journeys from within the town.

We need to be bold and this is why Essex Highways are planning a number of sustainable travel changes in and around the town over the coming months. You may already be aware of the works undertaken last year to create healthy school streets on Gilchrist Lane and Lancaster Way. This included resurfacing the pavement, refreshing road markings and installing temporary street art to change the look and feel of the street and encourage more cycling and walking. In addition, 20mph zones were installed to deliver a wide range of benefits including safer and more pleasant public realm which we hope will encourage residents to walk and cycle more. In the short term, speed restrictions reduce traffic which has a net impact of lowering air pollution and congestion. In the longer-term, 20mph schemes, along with complementary transport, health, environment and interventions create a better environment for residents and businesses alike.

This year Essex Highways will continue to introduce measures to make Braintree safer, greener and healthier. By creating a new cycle route which will connect the train station with the town centre and links to Coggeshall Road, the vision is to encourage walking and cycling through the town centre and onto Panfield Lane.

Panfield Lane itself will have a segregated cycleway and footways installed on each side of the road with a 20mph limit already installed. A further 20mph limit has been implemented on Station Approach with cycling, walking and bus improvements to follow. Other works include widening the signalised crossing on South Street to provide more space for both cyclists and pedestrians; introducing a 20mph speed limit on Fairfield Road, connecting with Manor street and the Avenue to Coggeshall Road; and installing a partially segregated cycleway on Coggeshall Road, Rayne Road and Bank Street.

Please see the map and the 20mph plan in the documents section for some location detail. Full scheme details can be seen below.