With Braintree choked by traffic and hundreds of new houses imminent, I wonder how long it will take to move around town.

Looking back many improvements were made only to be overtaken by soaring traffic as car ownership increased.

Braintree Urban District Council applied to Essex County Council in 1919 for a 5mph speed limit around the Fox and Hounds crossroads (junction of Coggeshall Road with Courtauld Road and Railway Street) and in 1936 traffic actuated lights were installed at a cost of £650.

Lights at the White Hart junction soon followed.

In 1960 there was a scheme to create a huge roundabout which would have contained the White Hart and Holmes and Hills office on its island.

In the 1960s the UDC decided that an inner ring road might solve the problem. This would make Railway Street, South Street, St Michael’s Road, Lower High Street, Grenville Road, Rayne Road and Bocking End one-way.

Courtauld Road was to remain two-way and unsurprisingly its residents played a major part in the Braintree Inner Ring Road Protest Association.

In 1965 the UDC commissioned Hunting Aerial Surveys for a large-scale, highly detailed plan of the town centre in readiness for the design of a road which would be a 70 feet wide dual-carriageway and Essex County Council started buying properties along the route in readiness.

However, the UDC wisely decided to run a trial and staff of the engineer and surveyors department at Blandford House spent many hours creating plywood signs with stencilled lettering which were put up early on the morning of Sunday, October 7, 1973.

The trial proved an inner ring road to be unviable and that a bypass was the only sensible solution, but it was April 29, 1987, before the first sod was turned for our £20million bypass, which opened on July 17, 1989, and was built by John Laing Construction.

With many developments in the area, not least two prisons at Wethersfield, and the A120 to A12 relief road to eradicate the delays at Fowlers Farm seemingly abandoned, I am glad that I own a bicycle.