RESIDENTS have branded traffic travelling along a historic street in Braintree as being “too much, too heavy and too fast.”

The results of a recent opinion survey of members and residents were presented at an annual Friends of Bradford Street meeting.

It found there were concerns about the volume of traffic, the speed it travels at, and the weight of vehicles using the road.

Anxious residents say action must be taken before “overdevelopment” in the surrounding streets brings heavy building traffic in the short term and thousands more residents’ cars in the longer term.

Group chairman Peter Bayley said: “Our previous survey identified traffic in the street as a key concern for residents, so we sought to test the support for specific actions to alleviate the problem.

“This is ever more urgent to preserve the fabric and atmosphere of Braintree’s most historic street.

“There are weight restrictions at each end of the street but they are largely ignored which means we regularly have lorries and double-decker buses and goodness knows what else going past which shake the foundations of the buildings.

“If I go out and speak to people who are queuing and ask if they’re going to Bradford Street the answer is often no.

“And when there isn’t heavy traffic the speeding along the street increases.”

At the meeting there was support for a 20 miles per hour speed limit and a speed-sensitive sign to tell drivers if they are going too fast.

They also want to see enforcement of the 7.5-tonne weight limit, including for buses, to stop the street being used as a through-road.

The group is asking Braintree Council to conduct a mandatory conservation area assessment, to give Bradford Street special status and reduce traffic.

Mr Bayley said that at a recent meeting with MP James Cleverly the politician said the intention was “restoring calm to historic Bradford Street”.

A spokesman for Braintree Council, said: “We have already recognised Bradford Street with special status as it is a designated Conservation Area, which was originally identified in 1969 and has been reviewed twice since.

"Traffic management measures are a separate process which is primarily the responsibility of Essex County Council as the Highways authority.”