NOTE: This content is old - Published: Tuesday, Jun 30th, 2015.
Technical advisors have been appointed by the Welsh Government to look at options drawn up in a study on improving major arterial routes through Deeside.
The Government has set aside £200m to get to grips with the issues that blight Deeside mainly around the pinch points over the river Dee, access into the enterprise zones and wider north Wales.
AECOM and Ruthin-based Richards, Moorhead & Laing will carry out the next stage of the A55/A494/A548 Deeside corridor improvement project to improve the road network in the area between Wrexham, Chester and Deeside.
Two routes, recommended in the previous Stage 1 study, will be assessed.
One is a package of highway and transport improvements focusing on the existing A55/A494 alignment from the River Dee Bridge to Northop and the second highway and transport improvements utilising the existing A458 Flintshire Bridge.
Neither option is looking to rekindle the controversial road widening scheme scrapped in 2008 by the then Deputy First Minister leuan Wyn Jones, a high profile campaign by Aston Hill residents forced a planning inquiry into the proposed road widening scheme along the A494 which later resulted in planning inspector siding with residents.
Public exhibitions will take place in September 2015 with the selection of the preferred route is expected before the end of 2016.
Transport Minister, Edwina Hart said:
“The Deeside corridor is an important economic route and the gateway to North Wales. This area has been identified in our National Transport Plan and this next stage will see the development of detailed plans to improve traffic flows at important locations along the trunk roads. The Welsh Government is committed to improving transport across Wales to create jobs and growth.”
Meanwhile, commuters from Deeside will see the benefit of a new £1.5bn North West smart motorway scheme announced by Highways England.
A six-mile stretch of smart motorway will be created on the M53 between junction 5 which links up with Queensferry via the A550 through Shotwick and junction 11 at the M56 interchange near Ellesmere Port.
A new Junction 11a will be created as part of major improvements over the next five years, they include the addition of variable speed limits, utilisation of hard shoulders, road resurfacing, safety and lighting improvements.
Nearly 80 miles of “smart motorway” will be created in the North West Highways England has revealed and it plans to begin work on seven new smart motorway projects by 2020.
- M53 between J5 at Queensferry and J11 at the M56 near Ellesmere Port
- M56 between J6 and J8 near Manchester Airport
- M62 between J10 at the M6 near Warrington and J12 at the M60 near Eccles
- M62 between J20 at the A627(M) near Rochdale and J25 near Brighouse, West Yorkshire (including seven miles in the North West)
- M60 between J24 at the M67 near Denton and J4 at the M56 near Cheadle
- M6 between J16 at Crewe and J19 at Knutsford
- M6 between J21a at the M62 near Warrington and J26 at the M58 near Skelmersdale
- A new junction between J11 and J12 on the M56 will be created
Feature Image: © Copyright Anthony Parkes and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.