Day 59 of (is it?) Lockdown – the eCargo edition

Day 59 of (is it?) Lockdown

Day 59 sees updates from CBC, ECC & HMG:

St John's Car ParkChanges to Opening Times of St John’s Car Park

Times will be reduced from 25 May 2020.

To ensure motorists who use the car park off Southway can continue to enjoy a safe and clean environment, Colchester Borough Council has taken the step to close the multi-storey from 7pm each evening, rather than the normal 10.30pm.

The move, which will be reviewed in July, has been prompted by increasing incidents of antisocial behaviour by a small minority of people late at night, coupled with reduced demand for evening parking since the Government’s lockdown measures were introduced.

Cllr Mike Lilley, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Communities, Wellbeing and Public Safety, said:

We have taken the decision to close St John’s Car Park earlier than normal to help deter crime and antisocial behaviour.

Some of the behaviour we have been witnessing recently is unacceptable and we will no longer tolerate it. We want to ensure that motorists who pay to park there have a safe and clean environment in which to leave their vehicles.

The ground-floor shopping centre beneath the car park closes at 6pm and alternative surface parking is available at St Mary’s, Vineyard Street and Britannia car parks nearby. Information on these and other car parks in the town centre can be found at

The announcement comes after approval was given to a three-year extension to the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) covering nine designated council-run car parks around the town centre, which came into force on 15 May 2020.

eCargo BikeseCargo Bikes Coming to Colchester

A fleet of electric delivery bikes will soon be criss-crossing the borough, thanks to a successful bid by Colchester Borough Council.

A grant of £136,912 from the Energy Saving Trust will see 25 electric cargo bikes (eCargo bikes) and five electric trailers (eTrailers) being used by three council teams and 10 community champions to carry out daily activities and make deliveries and collections around town.

The zero-emission cargo bikes and trailers will play a key part in helping to deliver on the council’s target to be carbon neutral by 2030, following its Climate Emergency declaration last year. As part of the pledge, the council is working towards electrifying its fleet of vehicles which will help reduce carbon as well as contribute to reducing air pollution.

Replacing short car or van journeys

The new eCargo bikes and trailers will be well-suited to replace short journeys usually made by car or van and showcase the role green transport can play in reducing carbon emissions and supporting a healthier workforce.

As well as reduced fuel costs, the eCargo bikes and trailers require less kerb space to make deliveries and collections and offer quicker access around streets where they can use bus lanes, cycle paths and other routes unavailable to cars and vans.

Local Champions

Ten local champion organisations and three enthusiastic council teams will be highly visible in the town sharing stories and experiences of using eCargo bikes and encouraging other organisations to give them a go:

  • Colchester Borough Homes
  • Wivenhoe Town Council
  • Colchester Bike Kitchen
  • Millwheels (Cannock Mill)
  • Repair Reuse Recycle
  • Juicy Bar
  • Norwegian Bakers
  • Olive Branch
  • Fisher Jones Greenwood/Charter Court, and
  • East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust

Other Users

A pool of seven eCargo bikes and trailers will be available for other council teams and local businesses and organisations to borrow for short term trials. Efforts will also be made to involve harder-to-reach communities with the project.

The eCargo Bike Grant Fund scheme is funded by the Department for Transport and delivered by Energy Saving Trust.

Ipswich Road South Closed from Bank Holiday 25th May

Major road widening work on the A133 in Colchester has now resumed, with essential piling works to the Network Rail retaining wall area taking place as well as completing minor works in this section while the roads are quieter.

Due to this work, Ipswich Road South will be closed on Bank Holiday Monday, 25th May.  A vital part of the road improvement scheme on the A133 Ipswich Road to Harwich Road is to widen the roundabout at Ipswich Road.  More road space needs to be created and this can only be done by strengthening the road next to the railway line south of the A133, using piling.

Ipswich Road south is due to be closed for up to three weeks from the evening of 25th May to 15th June with the road expected to be reopened by 16th June. The road has to be closed while piling is done on the retaining wall for workforce and public safety.

Essex Welfare ServiceExpansion of Essex Welfare Services

The Essex Welfare Service is now enabling access to more support services across the county.  The service was set up to help those most vulnerable during the Coronavirus pandemic. So far it has seen almost 9,000 vulnerable people across the county receiving support; over 3,000 volunteers help to make this happen.

This invaluable volunteer support has ranged from help with shopping, medicine or day-to-day tasks; they have enabled individuals to stay healthy and well whilst shielding at home.

The service has seen an increasing demand from residents for a number of different types of support. In response, EWS has expanded to enable access to other organisations that can help those feeling isolated or vulnerable.

The service now helps and advises residents feeling isolated or vulnerable, regardless of their age, health or circumstance. Residents can access support on:

  • Caring responsibilities
  • Mental health
  • Learning disability/autism
  • Dementia care
  • Sensory impairment
  • Parenting and family matters
  • Keeping physically active

To register, or recommend to friends and family, visit the Essex Welfare Service at or call 0300 303 9988.

A self-help directory will also go live in the coming weeks giving residents an additional offer of support.

Government guidance on schools opening to more pupils from 1 June

The government have recently issued guidance to parents & carers on this subject.  It addresses a wide range of questions/issues as follows:

  • Why can more children now attend school and childcare settings?
  • Why can more children now attend school and childcare settings?
  • What does the latest scientific advice say?
  • Can my child return to school?
  • What if my child is eligible but has siblings who are not?
  • How will risks to children, teachers and families be managed?
  • If my child is eligible, is it compulsory for them to attend school?
  • Do all vulnerable children and young people who are not currently attending have to go back to childcare settings, school or college now?
  • Should I keep my child at home if they have an underlying health condition or live with someone in a clinically vulnerable group?
  • Can children be tested for the virus?
  • What happens if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus in my child’s school, college or childcare setting?
  • Will education be provided as normal to children and young people who are attending?
  • How should my child travel to and from their childcare, school or college?
  • Will school meals be available for children and young people who are in school?
  • Will childcare, schools and colleges keep their usual opening hours?

If you want the answer to any of these questions you can find it here.

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