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Fixing the Link

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New wayfinding improves walking route from station to town

For most people every trip starts and ends on foot, and the best way to experience any town is by walking.

To help make the walking route into our town centre from Colchester Station clearer, Colchester Borough Council teamed up with  Abellio Greater Anglia (AGA) and Essex County Council (ECC) to create and install innovative artwork and wayfinding along the one-mile route.

Why wayfinding?Drawing of what the wayfinding element at Colchester North Station might look like Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

The new wayfinding has created a welcoming and exciting first impression of Colchester, encouraging more people to walk the one-mile route and visitors to stay longer and return again. It has also helped to improve the identity of the North Station Road area.

How to explore the trail

The walk from Colchester Railway Station to the town centre is one mile, and will take you approximately 20 minutes. If you're starting at the railway station, simply find the large elephant sculpture on the south-side forecourt. Follow the yellow banners until you reach the two elephants on the High Street.

pdf icon Download this map [545kb] to make sure you spot all the points of interest marked along the way.

Follow Emperor Claudius in the modern day as he makes the one-mile journey from Colchester North Station to the centre of town - along the Fixing the Link walking route.  A journey he made in AD43 when he arrived in Colchester with an invasion force that included elephants; the story that inspired the theme of the walking route.

On your journey you'll discover a series of route markers combined with information plaques, revealing historical points of interest along the route. The walk crosses the River Colne, passes through the site where North Gate once stood, one of the six Roman gates in our town wall, and takes you past the landmark building, St Peter's Church.

Why an elephant?

Designers Dallas Pierce Quintero were commissioned to create a clearer walking route between Colchester Railway Station and the town centre, celebrating our local history.

The designers were inspired by Colchester's historical and more modern links with elephants. From Roman Emperor Claudius' dramatic arrival into Colchester leading an invasion force that included elephants, to the iconic Victorian water tower at the top of the High Street affectionately known as Jumbo.

Where did the Fixing the Link idea come from?

We pioneered the use of a theory devised by Abellio Greater Anglia's parent company in the Netherlands, Nederlandse Spoorwegen, applying the idea to improve the experience of the walking route between Colchester Station and the town centre - called Fixing the Link.

This is the first time the Fixing the Link theory has been used in the UK, and we are proud that Colchester is the first pilot of its sort in the country.

By the way....

Studies show that the better the link is between a train station and the town centre it serves, visitors stay longer and spend more....good news for Colchester!

To keep up to date with this project

Sign up to our Future Colchester e-newsletter and follow us at Fixing the Link on Pinterest,  'Enjoy Colchester'' on Facebook and@YourColchester on Twitter.

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Essex County Council logo Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window           Abellio Greater Anglia Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window