Langham  Parish Council 







Roads and Transport






Parish index

To report a pothole, or any other problem with the road network



Road closures on a map:




Langham Potholes, Drains and Roadside Reports


Langham Lane

Men at work - drains and potholes


Park Lane, Wick Road and Birchwood Road


Chapel Road and Old Mill Road


Moor Road and High Street


School Road


Greyhound Hill


Grove Hill and Rectory Lane


Dedham Road


Water Lane, Docura's Farm Road and New Road


Ipswich Road


Ipswich Road aka Blackbrook Hill and Gun Hill








February 2010  Birchwood A12 Flyover


Cllr. Bottwood has contacted the Highways Agency about the time the traffic lights are likely to be in place on Birchwood Road.


'Our initial assessment suggests that the repair of the bridge is unlikely to be straightforward.  However, we need to undertake a more detailed inspection in order to fully assess the extent of the damage and evaluate options for repairs.   Once we have undertaken this assessment we will have a better idea of the likely timescale for repairs and how long we will need to maintain traffic controls over the bridge.     


The traffic restrictions currently in place on Birchwood Road are necessary in order to ensure the safety of road users.  We recognise that delays caused will be a concern to local residents and, as a priority, we are considering the feasibility of  alternative measures which, with the agreement of the local highway authority, Essex County Council, will allow two way traffic across the bridge.  The scope for interim measures and timescale for the full repair will be subject to availability of funding. '


The damage was caused by a vehicle hitting the bridge ... and the authorities are after that vehicle with a compensation claim. They also mention that delays for local road users, including businesses, are not for them to compensate!






Replies from Messrs Harris and Smith from the public meeting on our roads on 30 September 2008


Some further answers from Mr Geoff Harris following the meeting with residents at Langham Community Centre of 30th September 2008


From Ray Smith – who also attended the 30th September meeting.


Dear Mr Winter


Thank you for the prompt in your e-mail dated 10 November 2008. I had good intentions to complete a reply to you before I went on holiday but regrettably I wasn’t able to do so – please accept my apologies for the delay and I hope the comments in green below will assist you and the residents.


The three points made by a resident:

1          The work at Langham Lane involved complete reconstruction of numerous weak areas. This work has to be done in advance of any subsequent resurfacing which might be funded in the future.


2          The addition of 30mph roundels on the road surface is intended to remind drivers of the speed limit. It’s unlikely that local residents will notice any reduction in vehicle speeds but this measure is part of a general road safety campaign to reduce speeds.


3          The collision on 15 September wasn’t attended by Essex Police because there were no personal injuries. For this reason there is no record. In the last six years there has been one casualty at this site – 4 November 2005.  It is possible that many other collisions have occurred without injuries – the problem here appears to be the reduced visibility for drivers exiting from Wick Lane.


The four points made by a resident:

1          Wick Road – For safety reasons, speed humps cannot be introduced at random, they have to be part of a system of measures. Additional signage has recently been introduced to remind drivers about the 30mph speed limit.


2          The suggestion to install a traffic island at Birchwood Road/Wick Lane will be investigated.


3          The junction is close to 90 degrees but the radii will be checked with item 2.


4          Large areas surrounding Colchester have been designated for development and this will generate additional traffic on the existing road network. Regrettably, Langham may be adversely affected.


The point raised by a resident:


We are aware of vehicle speeds in School Road and Wick Lane. Additional signage has recently been introduced to remind drivers about the 30mph speed limit but It is exceedingly difficult to influence drivers’ behaviour.



It is intended to carry out the speed surveys in November, whom should I contact to agree the sites for the equipment?


Please let me know if you require any additional information.


Yours sincerely


Ray Smith

District Manager – East Area Highways & Transportation






Answers by Mr Harris to points made by residents – in green

 From a resident:





1.    There is no car access to the Stadium area from Boxted Straight Road and the only access is by Axial Way, the new road from the roundabout by Rapid Electronics. Driving down Axial Way, for the first time, I noticed all the businesses that have sprung up between it and the A12. Most of the units seem to be in operation and so there are many cars and at the end of the day they have to go out via the Rapid Electronics roundabout. The easiest and quickest way to get on the Ipswich bound A12 would be Langham Lane and Park Lane. In practice because of the congestion on Severalls Lane going east it might even be quicker to get onto the Harwich Road by going through Langham and then down the A12. Talking to people who work on the Business Park, some also choose to come through Langham to reach the A12 because it is quicker. No wonder that there is a big increase in Park Lane traffic!


2.    The car park at the Stadium is very small for the Stadium's capacity. Apparently this is because of Government regulation which limits the number of parking spaces to encourage the use of public transport. I gathered that it amounts to one parking place for every 14 seats. Parking for a match is £10 which will certainly encourage car sharing for the last part of the journey and Langham is an obvious place for people to meet and leave most of their cars. For matches the club have buses going from North Station, Chelmsford, Braintree and Clacton but nothing from the north. I think that the club are aware that there is a potential problem and the way that they handle the fans is changing game by game.


Solutions ??


The site of the Ardleigh car boot sale would be an ideal place for fans to park as it is easy for them to reach and there is plenty of parking space. It would also be very easy for a bus to do a shuttle run from there to the Stadium.


Colchester United FC is responsible for the provision of parking and bus facilities. Travel arrangements are being monitored and adapted to suit demands. I’m not aware of any significant parking issues in Langham but please let me know the locations of any problem sites.


The congestion on Severalls Lane is due to the backing up of traffic trying to get onto the roundabout at the Crown. Could this not be helped by changing the phasing of the traffic lights on the roundabout? Suppose that between 16.45 and 17.45 traffic coming from this direction and wanting to go right at the roundabout (which is not very many) see a longer period of red light. Also traffic from the Harwich direction wanting to go straight over (again not many) see a longer period of red. Traffic coming from Harwich or this direction and heading into Colchester would not be affected. The result of this would be that for a reasonable length of time traffic coming from Colchester could flow freely onto the roundabout. If we could solve this problem it would ease the frustration of the users of the Business Centre and other drivers and also mean that less people are tempted to cut through Langham.


Essex CC has worked with the Highways Agency to study this roundabout and the feasibility of any changes to the signalisation. It was concluded that no benefits would be derived from the suggested change. However ECC is working on a proposal to provide a dedicated left turn lane for traffic heading north on Ipswich Road but wishing to join the A120 westbound. This may be implemented early in 2009.



Letter from a resident:




Contract Area 6

Beacon House

Landmark Business Park

Whitehouse Road

Ipswich IP1 5PB



Dear Sirs


I have recently written to Colchester Borough Council regarding the roads in the Langham and Boxted areas.  One of my points was in connection with the A12 and the Area Highway Manager has advised me that the A12 is the responsibility of the Highways Agency and that you are their managing agents.


My letter raised the following enquiry: -


There is very loud traffic noise from the A12, especially when the wind is easterly, destroying what would otherwise be a tranquil environment in Langham.  We would request that funds be made available for tree and hedge planting along the A12 from the Langham Oak junction up to the Stratford St Mary exit of the A12 to help alleviate this unpleasant outcome of the A12 becoming a busier and faster road.


Your response would be appreciated.


         Atkins Ltd  should be asked to respond to this question.



Letter from a resident:



Colchester Borough Council

PO Box 889

Town Hall






Dear Sirs


We are writing to draw your attention to the following –


  • The extremely poor state of the roads in the Langham and Boxted areas.In places the roads are breaking up, have large holes and cracks and uneven surfaces; some of the holes are large enough to cause major damage to the suspension of cars. All of our family use bicycles, and journeys now involve having to look at the road immediately ahead to try to avoid the holes, whilst also making sure not to move out in to the path of cars.This is obviously a dangerous way to have to ride and we are concerned as to the potential damage that could be done to our bikes and to ourselves.We hope that the state of the roads in this area is an item on the agenda of the Borough Council.


The County Council is attempting to resolve maintenance problems in the Parish of Langham. Please report the location of any potholes to the Area Highway Office for attention.


  • There is very loud traffic noise from the A12, especially when the wind is easterly, destroying what would otherwise be a tranquil environment in Langham.We would request that funds be made available for tree and hedge planting along the A12 from the Langham Oak junction up to the Stratford St Mary exit of the A12 to help alleviate this unpleasant outcome of the A12 becoming a busier and faster road.


This is a matter for the Government’s Highways Agency or its consultant.


Your response would be appreciated.




From a resident:


Further to the visit of Mr Geoff Harris of Essex County Council Highways Department, I should like to highlight the situation in Langham Lane regarding the increased use of a country lane by vehicles, especially heavy vehicles, many of which use the lane as a cut through to the A12.  Although officially the speed limit is 60 mph, it is dangerous to travel at this speed and I should like to see a speed limit of 40 mph and restriction of heavy vehicles on such a narrow road.  I would add that there is a dual carriageway locally where the speed limit is 40 mph.  The recent necessity for extensive road repairs highlights the damage and total unsuitability for such heavy levels of through traffic.  I look forward to hearing his comments at the Parish Council Meeting.


Substantial repairs were carried out earlier this year but we acknowledge that some additional work remains to be done.


Unfortunately some unsuitable roads in Essex are being used by HGVs and the County Council is attempted to address the problems by the preparation of a County Hierarchy for such vehicles but until this work is complete it would be unacceptable to restrict traffic in one parish and simply transfer the problem to another.


At the request of the Parish Council a speed survey is to be conducted in Langham Lane.


From a resident:


I would like Mr Harris to confirm whether Essex County Council are prepared in the future to resurface that part of the A12 which borders Langham and Dedham with silent road surface.


The decision whether or not to resurface any section of the A12 will be made by consultants employed by the Highways Agency.




From a resident:


 I would like three particular subjects raised. 


1)The road closure for one week Langham Lane.


2)The footway which was constructed in school road from the industrial site to the recreation ground on the south side of the highway and


3)The Sustainable Communities Act which became law on the 23rd October 2007.



1) Langham Lane road closure for one week to execute road repairs.


 a) Were the parishioners of Boxted and Langham right to consider all repairs to Langham Lane would be completed during the road closure? If not why not?         


Yes, but it’s always a balance between the needs and the resources available. We identified some works that were urgent and these have been done. There remain a few smaller areas which may be done in a second visit, subject to funding.


 b) Could Mr Harris tell us the planning process for the repairs?


Routine inspections highlight areas for attention. These are then given a priority for treatment.


 c) Who was the client for the work? Who was the contractor? Did the work go out to tender? If it did, did it meet the estimated cost of the work?


ECC is the client and Balfour Beattie is the contractor.  This site was not specifically tendered, the cost was based on a schedule of rates.


 d) Who supervised the work for the client both in the field and in the office?


The Area Highway Manager is responsible for orders and supervision.


 e )What evidence is there in writing that there was sufficient assessment made of the plant, materials and labour available to complete the proposed work? 


Daily supervision but the work is not paid on dayworks.


 f) Is Mr Harris satisfied that the work completed to date has met i) the required specifications.and ii) is good value for money?


The work is satisfactory.


 g) Were any material samples taken on site, if so were the materials to specification?


Samples of materials were taken at source.


 h) If the work was executed by Daywork arrangements, who from the Client supervised the contractor to see that fair claims for time worked were made by the Contractor?   N/A


2) School Road Footway


 a) Could Mr Harris please inspect the footway constructed two to three years ago and make a fair assessment of the quality of the design and the way the completed work is standing up to its job of a safe footway?


This footway was constructed about five years ago and is generally very good. There are two short lengths where the timber edging has moved slightly towards the ditch causing minor cracking.


 b) Was and is the design of the footway good value for money?


The design is more than adequate but without knowing the details of the cost involved I can’t comment on VFM.


3) The Sustainable Communities Act

This new law gives citizens power to tell Government how to help stop our communities declining. These new powers for citizens and communities, given by this act, are only relevant if well known. What action is being taken to see that this act is known about? Have Essex CC, Colchester BC and Langham Parish Council opted into the opportunities of this Act?


Essex County Council has made great progress to implement the opportunities for local communities as empowered by new legislation. For example, district, borough and parish councils have been invited to form local highway panels to determine priorities for highway works.


From a resident:


I think there are three interlinked issues here, all related to the use of Langham Lane/Park Lane/Wick Road (in the morning) as “rat runs” from Severalls.


Firstly, there is the matter of speed and safety, secondly the condition of Langham Lane in particular, and thirdly the use by HGV’s and other inappropriate traffic on rural roads.


Perhaps this could be raised after public questions to Geoff Harris


These three issues have been raised by others and a similar response is appropriate. The problems are being monitored but the solutions are never simple.