The Government has delayed a decision on whether it is prepared to help fund the pedestrianisation of Braintree town centre.

The Department for Transport was due to make a decision last week on whether to grant Braintree Council £1million to help with implementing the traffic ban in Fairfield Road, Market Place, Great Square and High Street.

But the decision has been delayed and council bosses are now hopeful they will hear whether their bid was successful before the end of January.

The council has pledged to spend £750,000 on the scheme, with Essex County Council also matching that figure.

An extra £1million is needed to cover the expected £2.5million price-tag.

Council bosses will re-evaluate the project if their bid to the Department for Transport fails but say Fairfield Road and High Street are their biggest priorities.