NOTE: This content is old - Published: Monday, Apr 23rd, 2018.
A new cross-boundary highway scheme between Chester and Deeside would improve access to new and emerging development sites around Hawarden, Saltney and Broughton, Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet will be told when they meet on Tuesday.
Councillors will be asked to back a joint commission to explore potential routes for a new cross-boundary scheme called the Chester Western Relief Road (CWRR).
Much of Chester’s historic road network is oriented to the east of the city, with no main north-south road to the west.
The idea of a cross border route has been kicking around for a number of years, a potential route, wholly on the English side of the border with Wales, was identified in the 1990’s.
Appraisal work showed the route could help contribute to reducing traffic congestion within Chester city centre and along part of the A483 Wrexham Road.
However, traffic modelling suggested it would have a negative impact elsewhere on the A55 / A483 junction and also along the A548 and A5480 around the ‘Sealand Basin.’
In 2014 Cheshire West and Chester Council came up with a proposal which would have seen a major new road development across the Dee into a large area of Flintshire, passing through Broughton and Saltney.
Sparks flew between Chester and Flintshire councils – head of planning at Flintshire County Council Andrew Farrow accused Cheshire planners of acting on a ‘whim’ with little regard for their Welsh neighbours.
At the time Mr Farrow said: “The clear emphasis is to ‘maximise the benefits for Chester’– and it is clear that communities in Flintshire must take the impact.”
The strategy seems to simply accept there will be ‘significant increased traffic levels through Saltney and Broughton’ and that Flintshire County Council must accept this as part of the greater benefits to accrue for Chester.”
The dust has settled and discussions have taken place with officials from neighbouring local authorities as well as Highways England to explore potential road options for the wider Deeside and Chester area.
Now, there appears to be ‘considerable interest’ in in looking at a revised route aimed at improving connectivity on both sides of the border.
The new road could help reduce congestion on the Chester inner ring-road and at the A55 / A483 Posthouse junction.
An alternative route could also open up access to a proposed new rail based park and ride station in Broughton on the Chester – North Wales Coast railway line.
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Countryside, Councillor Carolyn Thomas, said:
“This is an exciting time for our region and this joint commission is an opportunity to look at the region as a whole and how best all counties could benefit.
The benefit for us would be removing traffic congestion from the local area, direct access onto the A55, improved access to new and emerging development sites in the areas around Hawarden, Saltney and Broughton and the provision of direct access to Broughton Retail Park.
There is also the possibility of opening up access to a proposed new rail based park and ride station in the vicinity of Broughton serving the Chester – North Wales Coast railway line.”
If approved by the cabinet, Flintshire County Council will commit £15,000 to the route study which will be “found from the Client Commissioning budget” within Streetscene and Transportation.
It is expected that this work can be undertaken within a maximum of four months following which a further report will be presented to Cabinet with details of the outcome of the study.
Main image taken from the Mersey Dee Alliance Prospectus ‘Unlocking Our True Potential’ more here: https://wcnwchamber.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/MDA-Prospectus-Unlocking-Our-True-Potential-English.pdf