NOTE: This content is old - Published: Friday, Jan 19th, 2018.
One of Europe’s biggest industrial parks will struggle to fulfil its potential if poor transport links into and around it aren’t tackled.
With 400 businesses employing in the region of 9,000 people – Deeside Industrial Park has become one of the key economic driving forces in Wales yet businesses say they struggle to recruit and retain staff due to the lack of an effective transport system into the park.
Worsening traffic congestion in the industrial park and along the Deeside corridor have been identified in recent studies as a key factor limiting further growth.
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet will receive an updated report on the ‘Deeside Integrated Transport solution’ and its links to the wider North East Wales Metro plans by Welsh Government when it meets next week.
As well as construction of the A494/A55 – The ‘Red Route’ which has now entered the planning phase, the Welsh Government has already agreed to back the Deeside Parkway rail station scheme adjacent to the existing A548, it will be linked to a rail, road and bus hub including a ‘Park/Rail and Ride’ facility.
Ambitious plans will also see the development of a complete network of dedicated cycle-ways on all main roads within the park, secure cycle parking is also proposed at the hubs, seamless links to a new Deeside Parkway Railway Station and Garden City Bus Hub will be created.
Dedicated bus lanes
The provision of a dedicated bus lane from Queensferry to Shotton Bridge form part of the plans, ‘it would significantly improve bus journey times along the Deeside corridor.’ the report says.
Also planned are electrically powered buses, charged from sustainable energy sources and potentially funded by Flintshire County Council as well as shuttle bus service operating on dedicated ‘Bus Only’ routes into the Park, a Bus/Train Hub at Shotton Station and a Bus/Shuttle Bus interchange hub at Garden City.
The strategic transport vision sees ambitious plans for rail Improvements with the proposed ‘Deeside Parkway’ railway station on the Borderlands, Wrexham, Bidston line.
Direct Trains to London?
Linking Shotton High-Level and Low-Level stations with a Main East-West Coast line stop at Shotton, it would provide an improved business link from the industrial park into the North West of England and London, currently, those wanting to travel by train directly to London have to go to Flint or Chester.
Improved parking infrastructure along the Borderlands line, particularly Penyffordd Station providing the option for a ‘Park and Train’ link into the industrial park.
Significantly improved frequency and quality of service on Wrexham Bidston line and tram-trains, light rail or battery powered train options, provided by the extension of the Merseryrail services currently operating from Bidston
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Transportation, Councillor Carolyn Thomas, said:
“The strategic transport vision is an exciting plan which will integrate all modes of transport and cater for the demands of each whilst maintaining and promoting at its heart, a sustainable, affordable and environmentally friendly public transport service.
“It will include, amongst others, the following key improvements to facilitate travel to work on the Park: a network of cycle-ways; links to National Cycleway network; rail, road and bus hub providing DIP access from the proposed new Deeside Parkway station adjacent to the existing A548; improved bus journey times along the Deeside corridor; a regular, electrically powered shuttle bus service, not to mention the many ambitious and exciting rail improvements which are cited for the area.”
A senior officer from the Streetscene and Transportation Portfolio has been nominated as Project Manager for the scheme and has been appointed to oversee the individual programmes within it. A Project Team, including Officers from the Welsh Government, meet on a regular basis to monitor progress.