Anybody who drives to, from or around Chelmsford on a regular basis will already know just how much of a nightmare the traffic can be around the Army & Navy roundabout, and one of the most popular complaints is that the flyover happens to be running in the opposite direction. All of this is about to become a thing of the past with the announcement that the bridge is going to be made TWO-WAY from April 2016.
There is even more good news to come as well for frustrated motorists in the area. The flyover itself will not be widened in preparation for the change to a ‘two-way, 24/7’ system, and therefore roadworks and closures for the project will be kept to an absolute minimum. When the new layout opens up next year, drivers of all vehicles will be able to use the flyover in both directions at any time of the day, and this will have a significant impact on journey times both to and from the city centre and other major routes.
To explain how the new two-way system will work on a bridge that is made up of just one lane, we spoke to Roger Collido from the Essex Road Improvement Partnership – the government-backed group responsible for the new plans. He said, ‘When we decided to convert the flyover into a bridge that can be used in both directions simultaneously, we knew that adding an extra lane like other traditional bridges would lead to roadworks and months of misery for drivers in Chelmsford who are already fed up with local traffic. By keeping a single lane layout with no passing points, we have come up with a system that is based on the unbelievable levels of politeness that motorists in Chelmsford seem to possess. If two drivers meet in the middle of the bridge, we are confident that one of them will be more than happy to reverse back to ground level – this will allow the other to complete their crossing with ease. If we tried a similar system in Southend or Basildon, it would create some kind of ‘living hell,’ but here in Chelmsford people are cut from a different cloth!’
Mr Collido added, ‘Initially the new layout will be trialled for six months, and in the event that the traffic situation does not improve we also have a contingency plan in place where the bridge will go back to a one-way system – however the direction will change at 60 second intervals to ensure that everyone will get a chance to use it.
LIKE SOUTHEND NEWS NETWORK FOR THE LATEST ‘NEWS’ HEADLINES