THE public have been urged to plan alternative travel arrangements to keep Chelmsford moving as the Army and Navy flyover remains closed.

People are being encouraged to plan ahead and switch to different forms of transport to get in and out of Chelmsford, as the Army and Navy flyover is set to remain closed during the back-to-school period.

A group, which includes county, city, and parish councillors, residents' representatives, and Vicky Ford MP, have told the public to consider using park and ride, changing journey times, and using Chelmsford's bus service.

Ms Ford, MP for Chelmsford, said: "Designing and building a new long term solution is an urgent priority.

"In the interim all ways to reduce congestion and keep Chelmsford moving must be put into action.

"This means encouraging those who don’t need to drive through Chelmsford to find alternative routes as well as making it easier to take a bus, set up a car share, use the park and ride or cycle.

"Some of Chelmsford’s employers are already working on innovative ways to help their staff reduce journey times at peak hours including staggering work times."

Councillors Kevin Bentley, cabinet member for infrastructure at Essex County Council, said: “Everyone knows that traffic levels increase when the schools go back, so we are encouraging road users to plan ahead and switch to alternatives like buses, bikes or simply walking to get to school or work.

“We know that the whole of Chelmsford feels the effects when there are problems at the Army and Navy flyover, but we cannot put the safety of people at risk by allowing the structure to stay open while we consider our options.

"Engineers have spent the summer looking at the structure and considering ways that we can improve the junction.

“We are urgently working on a long-term answer to the issues related to the Army and Navy roundabout and we are committed to providing a solution that isn’t simply a quick-fix or a sticking-plaster.“

A report on the structure from engineers is expected in the coming weeks, but in the meantime the flyover will remain closed.

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