Almost all matters relating to our highways, (whether affecting roads, pavements, pedestrians, cyclists or motorists) come under the responsibility of Essex County Council’s (ECC) Highways department. Telephone: 0345 603 7631.
We are always trying to improve the road systems and speak to ECC regularly to inform them of what is needed.
ECC have performed Highways Studies of Saffron Walden which have concluded that most key junctions in Saffron Walden are over or forecast to be over capacity with no or little solution to the problem. As a result, the central area of Saffron Walden Town has been declared as an air quality management area (AQMA). Although pollution levels appear to have decreased in recent years, they remain high, and all air pollution harms human health.
Therefore, SWTC are keen to promote sustainable transport methods. We are aware that the street layout in Saffron Walden means that many pavements are inadequate, and cycle provision is almost non-existent within Saffron Walden, or further afield.
Most highway repairs are the responsibility of ECC Highways, this includes; road and pavement issues, street lights, flooding, manhole covers and signage.
We regularly report defects via ECC’s Report it online tool, found here. Defects only need to be recorded once and ECC provide email updates on the issue.
SWTC maintain an ongoing dialogue with ECC Officers and County Councillor Paul Gadd who assists in chasing ongoing defects.
If you are aware of a defect, please let us know and we will report it to ECC and follow it up.
Unfortunately, what we would call a serious defect however does not always meet ECC’s investigation levels. Therefore, quite often defects are logged and checked by Highways but it does not meet their investigation levels, so no works are carried out, but we are told the defect is regularly checked.
A list of reported defects at time of writing (December 2021) can be found here.
At SWTC we think that a reduced speed limit will make walking and cycling more attractive and in turn may help to reduce car journeys which will reduce air pollution.
During the Coronavirus outbreak the Government specifically requested that the Highways Authority put new pedestrian measures in place as a priority while lockdown was easing. As a result, the speed limits were reduced to 20mph in the town centre and the road closures in place on Market Days were also be placed throughout the rest of the week, excluding Sunday’s (and now Monday’s). This is in aid to support pedestrians as they walk around town and social distancing can be maintained.
While lockdown is lifted The Government allowed the 20mph to continue with the view of making it permanent.
At time of writing (December 2021) the public notice has been issued for consultation regarding permanent 20mph zones, assuming there are no objections this is likely to be installed in Spring 2022. A map of the proposed 20mph areas is below.