DETAILED plans for a new rapid transit system linking three new garden communities in north Essex have been unveiled.

Part of proposals, by Braintree, Colchester, Tendring, and Essex councils, to build 43,000 homes over the next 50 years, the system is designed to reduce congestion and provide quick and easy access in and out of Braintree and Colchester from the new towns.

The system, which could cost between £230 million and £325 million, will start off as a bus service with bus lanes.

They say the service will be reliable, frequent, comfortable and affordable.

The councils expect to hear if a bid to the Government’s Housing Infrastucture Fund, the key to paying for the scheme, is successful soon.

The authorities hope the network will eventually develop into an “east to west” public transport corridor.

The dedicated lanes could eventually be adapted to the reflect the latest ways of transport like trackless trams.

As well as linking the garden communities at the Tendring Colchester border, West Tey and west of Braintree, the system could also stretch to Stansted Airport.

North Essex Garden Communities Limited, run by Colchester, Tendring, Braintree and Essex County councils, has worked with transport consultants Jacobs and provider Go-Ahead Group on the plans.

New evidence on the Local Plan will be considered by councillors in July before a further consultation period.

The councils plan to submit the evidence to the planning inspector.

He is expected to make a decision early next year. The councils hope work on the 7,000 to 9,000-home East Colchester garden community could start in 2023 and the 15,000 to 24,000 West Tey new town in 2028. Visit