A new park and ride scheme designed to ease congestion on Deeside Industrial Park has been given the green light.
Around 275 parking spaces will be built on land off Shotwick Road in Sealand as part of the initiative by Flintshire Council, which was approved by politicians yesterday.
Regular shuttle bus services will travel to and from the three zones of the industrial estate to encourage commuters to use public transport.
It forms part of £1.8m worth of public transport improvements in Deeside outlined under the North East Wales Metro project.
The scheme has been backed by Sealand councillor Christine Jones, who said it would help to ease the amount of traffic in the area.
Speaking at a planning committee meeting at County Hall in Mold, Cllr Jones (Lab) said: “I welcome this because of the dreadful traffic problems we have on Deeside Industrial Park.
“Hopefully this will alleviate those because we’ve had an awful lot of safety issues.
“Now we’ve had the three zones reorganised and this as well, hopefully it will make things an awful lot better for people who have to work on such a busy estate.”
The Welsh Government money was used in order to help buy the site for the park-and-ride service, which was formerly disused highways land, and improve Deeside shuttle and other local bus services.
Three letters of objection were received regarding the scheme, which included concerns about the potential for increased congestion at Drome Roundabout and Green Lane West.
It was recommended for approval by officers despite being situated on green barrier land, which led to questions being raised by Buckley councillor Richard Jones (Ind).
He said: “I just want to make a point of concern as this is green barrier and many times we rely on the argument of green barrier land to maintain its openness.
“I want to make sure that for future applications we don’t undermine the arguments that we use for the maintenance of green barrier.”
In response, Andrew Farrow, chief officer for planning, said the site being in the green barrier was an anomaly and the intended use for public transport was acceptable.
His views were backed by the majority of councillors, who voted in favour.
Labour cabinet member Derek Butler was among those who supported it.
He said: “We’re always cognisant of green barrier issues and we’re strong defenders of them.
“If you look at the map in the documents you can see the context of this strip of green barrier adjacent to an industrial park full of lights.
“This is to improve the infrastructure in that area.
“It’s part of a wider metro system we’re putting together to facilitate movements in and out of the park.”
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).