INITIAL options to improve the Army and Navy junction in Chelmsford will be shared with the public during the Autumn.

During the latest meeting of the Army and Navy Taskforce, it was agreed that information about the initial options would be shared in November.

A full public consultation on a revised shortlist of options for the junction will follow at a later date once detailed testing and modelling has been completed.

Meanwhile, the council is continuing to press ahead with appointing a specialist contractor to remove the Army and Navy flyover as soon as is practicable after the announcement it would not re-open on safety grounds.

Various measures have been put in place to help with congestion in the interim, while people have also been encouraged to plan ahead and use alternative transport such as buses, bikes or walking, where possible.

Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader of Essex County Council and Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, said: “We are working incredibly quickly to provide the best solution for the Army and Navy.

“The junction is a crucial gateway to Chelmsford and we want provide a long-term and sustainable solution that is an asset to the city. However, we must also ensure we get it right and that any improvements encourage more sustainable travel and avoid putting additional pressure on other roads in the city centre.

“I have promised to keep the public informed wherever possible throughout the project and I am delighted we will soon be in a position to share some of our initial work.

“I will continue to work closely with the local MP, city and parish councillors, and local residents to ensure their views are heard.”

Vicky Ford, MP for Chelmsford, said: “The closure of the flyover is making travel around the city extremely challenging and I know many people are facing very frustrating delays. However, I am pleased that work to develop a long-term solution has been accelerated.

“Before any new scheme can be built a robust process of design, environmental and other assessments, and a public consultation, are needed. Thanks to the work of the Army and Navy Taskforce the first stages of this process are already completed.

“The Secretary of State for Transport, and the Under Secretary of State for Transport, have agreed that this project is an urgent priority.”

Stephen Robinson, Leader of Chelmsford City Council, said: “The Army and Navy junction is a key part of Chelmsford’s transport network and so any proposals need to address Chelmsford-wide traffic issues.

“The solutions need to include changes to the junction and also sustainable transport measures for the whole of Chelmsford.”

The Army and Navy Taskforce will continue to meet regularly to discuss both short-term measures to minimise congestion following the flyover closure and planned removal, as well as work to identify a long-term solution to improving the junction.

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