Businesses oppose plan to reduce Crouch Street parking spaces

Business owners have condemned plans by Essex Highways which will reduce the number of parking spaces on Crouch Street.

Kenneth Lo, Alison Hudson and Phil Gunton have spoken out against the measures, which will see the number of parking bays cut from 23 bays to 11 so that cycle lanes can be introduced.

All three urged people to voice their objections to Essex County Council, which is advancing cycle lanes as part of their Safer, Greener, Healthier campaign designed to encourage more sustainable modes of transport.

But Mr Lo, owner of the China City restaurant in Crouch Street, argued the new measures would hurt businesses and added that other outlets, such as Faces hair salon and H Gunton grocery store, are also fiercely opposed to the plans.

He said: “We all believe our livelihoods are going to be put at risk by these proposals.

“The vast majority of our customers come by car, not by bike – our customer base depends on people being able to drive their cars to the business and arrive with their families.”

Along with Alison Hudson of Faces hair salon and Phil Gunton of H. Gunton grocery store, Mr Lo is urging people to stand up to it by personally delivering leaflets to residents of Lexden and St Mary’s neighborhoods in Colchester.

He added: ‘We have personally put these leaflets through everyone’s doors in Lexden and St Mary’s to tell people how dangerous these plans are for our businesses.

“The council should think of an alternative plan – or do they just expect to roll us with a consultation that was done last year?”

Mr Lo also argued that the plans would make it harder for businesses to receive deliveries, arguing that the number of loading docks would be reduced.

“With this ‘no loading’ rule there will only be two loading bays – the truck would have to stop at Tesco Express before deliveries are manually routed to a store.

“Once we receive many objections, I hope companies will join us [in challenging the proposals].”

Highways Spokesperson – “Majority backs new cycle lane plans”

ESSEX Highways has defended its plan to reduce the number of parking spaces on Crouch Street, despite a deluge of complaints from business owners.

Owners of China City restaurant, Faces hair salon and H Gunton grocery store have denounced the plans, arguing that customers driving to their businesses will be put off by parking restrictions and a lack of spaces.

But a spokesman for Essex Highways responded to criticism saying the initial consultation phase of the plans had seen a majority of respondents back the plans.

He said: “The proposals for Crouch Street in Colchester were widely consulted with local residents, businesses and members during their development.

“This consultation revealed that support for the East-West Corridor proposals in Colchester was high, with 58% supporting to 26% against.

“In addition to this, 64% supported measures to make Colchester safer for active travel, 65% supporting or being neutral on repurposing the roadway for active travel measures and 72% supporting improving bike rides.”

The spokesperson added that research by Transport for London has found that improvements to walking, cycling and public realm on high streets can boost retail sales by up to 30%.

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