Tiptree Neighbourhood Plan
(21) 7 Traffic and Movement
Objective 3: To improve movement through Tiptree, for vehicular traffic but also for walking and cycling and to improve access to the countryside, main routes and railway stations whilst minimizing impact on the village centre.
7.1 One of the benefits of living in a village is having the shops and services within walking distance of home. This Plan supports developments that provide direct, safe routes for pedestrians and cyclists to reach the village centre and local facilities. At the same time this plan recognises that Tiptree is a District Centre that will attract visitors from the surrounding area – many of whom will arrive by private car, particularly given the limited public transport services. It is therefore necessary to ensure the smooth flow of traffic and the provision of adequate village centre car parking to ensure that village facilities are easily accessible.
(29) POLICY TIP06: NON-MOTORISED USER ACCESS ROUTES
- Development proposals to improve cycling and walking infrastructure will be supported. In particular, provision of cycle and pedestrian routes that are physically separated from vehicular traffic and ideally from one another will be strongly supported. Such routes must also ensure that access by disabled users and users of mobility scooters is provided.
- In order to enable safe pedestrian access to public transport facilities, schools, leisure and other important facilities serving Tiptree village, all new developments should ensure safe pedestrian access to link up with existing footways close to the indicative access points shown on the Policies Map. This is particularly important where these footways directly serve the main pedestrian routes shown on the Policies Map.
- Proposals to enhance the quality and safety of the identified main pedestrian routes will be strongly supported. In particular this includes widening, surfacing, appropriate lighting and vegetation management.
- In order to ensure the provision of safe direct walking and cycling routes to Baynard's Primary School and Thurstable Secondary School, development proposals that will significantly increase the numbers of children walking to school must contribute towards the provision of suitable pedestrian crossings as deemed necessary by the Highway Authority. In respect of the site allocations in Policies TIP15 (Highland Nursery) and TIP16 (Elms Farm), the need for pedestrian crossings of Kelvedon Road, Oak Road, Colchester Road Maypole Road and the link road must be considered.
- Development must retain and enhance the quality and accessibility of Public Rights of Way and bridleways. It must adequately mitigate the impact of additional traffic movements on the safety and flow of pedestrian and cycle access, especially at road junctions. Proposals to create new or enhance existing off-road routes which lead into the wider countryside are encouraged. Where possible, these routes should be designed to accommodate walking, cycling, disabled access and equestrian users.
7.2 The Parish Council is also aware of the following issues and will work towards improvements in these areas, albeit outside the provision of the Neighbourhood Plan:
- Provision of improved access to the A12 north and south.
- Improved transport links to neighbouring towns and railway stations.
7.3 Map 7.1 illustrates the main pedestrian routes and destinations which new developments would be expected to link with. The blue arrows indicate where pedestrians from the new developments would be expected to link with existing footways.
7.4 Map 7.2 illustrates some of the issues that arise from the lack of pavement in parts of Tiptree. The site allocations are shown in cream and the grey line indicates the indicative route of the first phase of a northern link road specified in the Colchester Local Plan. The blue arrows indicate the likely points where pedestrians will access the main walking routes and also the schools which are the most likely destinations. The issues raised will need to be considered and satisfactorily resolved before any proposals to develop the allocated sites come forward.
Vehicular traffic movement
7.5 Tiptree lies on a busy crossroads with considerable 'through traffic'. The Maldon-Colchester Road (B1022) provides an alternative to the A12 and is particularly busy if there has been an incident on that road whilst the Braxted Park Road/Maldon Road/Station Road and Kelvedon Road/Church Road routes are busy with traffic heading between the A12 and towns to the east such as Tollesbury and Mersea. Similarly evidence suggests that most of the traffic in Church Road is 'through traffic'.
7.6 In order to avoid congestion and ground-level pollution it is necessary to ensure the smooth flow of traffic along the main roads passing through the village and, where possible, to provide alternative routes to avoid pressure points and reduce the traffic using any one road. For these reasons this plan seeks to avoid increasing traffic flow on the B1022 and B1023, especially through Church Road.
7.7 In response to community consultation, one of the fundamental considerations for the location of development was the ability of future residents to access the A12 and major routes without passing through Church Road which is the commercial centre of the village. This is one of the reasons why the plan locates future development in the north and north-west of the village.
7.8 The planned upgrade to the A12 will bring the much needed improvement to A12 access both at Feering and Rivenhall. However a new four-way junction in Inworth Road is projected to significantly increase the traffic in the B1023 Inworth Road. The figures published by National Highways (formerly Highways England) have been consistently revised downwards but show a morning peak increase in traffic ranging between 42% and 150% which equates to a figure as high as 1749 vehicles per hour. A proportion of this extra traffic is expected to have also passed through Church Road as traffic from settlements to the east of Tiptree takes the quick route to the A12 via the new junction. This extra traffic in Church Road is a scenario that the Neighbourhood Plan has sought to avoid. For this reason it is important that the route via Rivenhall remains an attractive alternative so that southbound traffic from Mersea and villages to the east can be encouraged to continue to use Station Road and Braxted Park Road to access the A12 in preference to Church Road and Kelvedon/Inworth Roads (the B1023). These routes are illustrated on Map 7.3.
7.9 At the heart of this Neighbourhood Plan is the creation of a long term strategy to ensure that the growth of Tiptree is genuinely sustainable, particularly with regard to traffic flow.
7.10 Policy SS14 in the CLP S2 specifies the provision of a first phase northern link road between Kelvedon Road (B1023) and Colchester Road (B1022). This link road across the north of the village will eventually connect Kelvedon Road with Colchester Road and thereby reduce traffic in Oak Road and at the Windmill Green crossroads. A transport study, by Cottee Transport Planning (Tiptree Neighbourhood Plan: Strategic Highways Note – February 2022), commissioned to support the Neighbourhood Plan, identified that the link road will largely mitigate the traffic impact of the site allocations and also improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists in the vicinity of local schools. Moreover, whilst the current capacity issues at the double mini-roundabout serving the B1022 and B1023 will remain, the link road will provide some relief. As part of this work, the northern section of Messing Road will connect with the link road whilst the southern section will become a cul-de-sac to facilitate pedestrian access.
7.11 It has been confirmed by the promoters of the site allocations in the Neighbourhood Plan that the portions of the first phase link road indicated on Map 7.4 are deliverable and will not compromise the overall viability of these developments (see the Housing Topic Paper).
7.12 The first phase of the link road will be incorporated into the allocated sites at Highland Nursery and Elms Farm (Map 7.4). However the centre section of this road lies in the parish of Messing and, although this land was offered on the Call for Sites, it is outside the scope of this Neighbourhood Plan. Additional phases of works to be delivered outside of this Neighbourhood Plan through future plan making would connect the first phases together. The deliverability of the first stages of the link road has been confirmed by the developer and common ground regarding the eventual completion of the 'missing link' has been established with Messing cum Inworth PC (See the Housing Topic Paper in TNP Evidence Base Documents).
7.13 Also outside of this Neighbourhood Plan, it remains a future aspiration that future phases of the northern link road may include a connection from Kelvedon Road (B1023) through to Grange Road. This would complete the alternative western route around Tiptree. It would also provide an alternative to the Vine Road/Kelvedon Road junction which is likely to become a pressure point at peak times as development in the area leads to more cars trying to turn out of Vine Road into Kelvedon Road at a place where the sight line to the right is poor. This problem is exacerbated by both its location opposite Baynards Primary School and the increased traffic in Kelvedon Road resulting from the new A12 junction. This future link road extension would relieve the pressure resulting from future development in the Grange Road area and help ensure that the route via Grange Road and Braxted Park Road remains a viable alternative for southbound traffic heading for the A12.
7.14 An earlier Review of Transport Issues raised by the Tiptree Neighbourhood Plan (Cottee Transport Planning, January 2021, updated April 2021) states, 'the volumes of traffic predicted by National Highways to use the B1023 through Inworth are unlikely to be sustainable in the long term. The traffic impact of the A12 widening scheme on Tiptree and the surrounding road network should be examined further by NH/ECC to ensure a sustainable and balanced traffic distribution strategy'. In this respect, the study also includes a high-level assessment which shows that the proposed link roads would clearly have benefits in terms of diverting traffic away from Kelvedon Road/Maypole Road and the double mini roundabout in the village. This, and the 2022 Technical Highways Note, is included in the Neighbourhood Plan Evidence Base documents.
(32) POLICY TIP07: MITIGATING THE IMPACT OF VEHICULAR TRAFFIC THROUGH TIPTREE VILLAGE
- Development proposals are expected to demonstrate how they will minimise vehicular congestion. Proposals to improve traffic flow on existing roads and junctions will be strongly supported. This particularly relates to vehicular traffic travelling through the centre of Tiptree village, along Colchester/Maldon Road (B1022) and Kelvedon/Church Road (B1023).
- To avoid congestion, in accordance with the requirements of the Highway Authority, new developments will be required to include appropriate junction improvements to ensure the smooth flow of traffic and also to provide safe and efficient access to and from the development.
- Vehicular access to the site allocations at Highland Nursery and Elms Farm should be provided in or close to the indicative locations shown in Map 12.1.
- The first phase of the northern link road are to be delivered through the following allocations:
- Policy TIP15 (Highland Nursery)
- Policy TIP16 (Elms Farm)
- The new link road will reflect the rural character of this edge-of-settlement location and will meet the necessary specifications as set out in the Essex Design Guide (2018), in particular ensuring it is sufficient to support a bus route and forecast levels of non-residential traffic.
- Driveways serving new dwellings along the route of the link road should not be accessed directly from the link road, but dwellings may still front the road behind footpaths/grass verges and parallel access roads.
 A12 Chelmsford to A120 widening scheme, Consultation documents 2019, June 2021 & November 2021