Improvements to a key route through Flintshire will help to boost emergency service response times, it has been claimed.
Works are set to be carried out along the A548 and B5129, which link the county to both Denbighshire and Cheshire, as part of the North Wales Metro Project.
It includes changes to traffic signals to allow buses through more quickly, as well as introducing bus and cycles lanes.
Studies have indicated that the new measures could reduce bus journey times by as much as eight minutes during peak times.
Steve Jones, Flintshire Council’s chief officer for Streetscene and transportation, said emergency service vehicles would also be able to take advantage of the bus lanes.
In a report Mr Jones said: “The bus lane measure is the first of a series of measures along the A548 and B5129 which will improve both the bus experience and bus journey times.
“Traffic modelling studies indicate that there is little detrimental impact to other road users but that the proposal would provide benefits.
“The proposed bus priority measures will also improve the emergency services response times through the area because emergency vehicles will be able to utilise the bus lane in these situations.
“The lanes would, however, incorporate an automated enforcement process to deter use by non-eligible vehicles.
“Other projects along this critical bus corridor are being evaluated and will be brought forward as Welsh Government funding becomes available.”
A public consultation has already been held in respect the proposals to improve a stretch of the B5129 in Deeside.
Members of the authority’s ruling Labour administration will be asked to approve the use of government funding for the scheme between Shotton Lane and Queensferry at a meeting next week.
Other plans outlined include introducing regulated timetables and shared ticketing arrangements between bus companies along the route.
Traffic orders would also be brought in to reduce congestion caused by parked vehicles and a new bus hub could be created in Garden City to link to the Deeside Shuttle service.
Work is expected to begin this autumn with a view to it being completed by next summer.
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).