Major plans have been unveiled in a bid to ease congestion and improve journey times in one of Flintshire’s key employment areas.
Flintshire Council has secured capital funding from the Welsh Government to carry out measures which could shave eight minutes off bus trips for commuters to Deeside Industrial Park.
In total, approximately 14,000 vehicles travel along the Deeside Corridor every day and the authority said workers often face excessive travel times.
Possible solutions include the introduction of new technology, which would see buses fitted with a system to communicate with traffic signals, allowing them to proceed through.
The proposals, which form part of the North East Wales Metro project, also include plans for new bus and cycle lanes along the B5129 from Queensferry to Shotton Lane, and time-saving measures between Shotton and Connah’s Quay.
A pedestrian bridge linking the former John Summers High School site in Queensferry to Deeside Leisure Centre may be removed to be replaced with a signal-controlled crossing.
Steve Jones, the council’s chief officer for streetscene and transportation, said the scheme was designed to encourage more people to make the shift from car to bus.
He said: “There are issues of congestion which are clear to see.
“There’s an issue with access to Deeside Industrial Park and there’s difficulties for people on the outskirts of Flintshire to gain access to employment, so we’re trying to do something.
“This is to improve the access to key employment sites for people across Flintshire and beyond.
“It’s important that they’re able to access these highly skilled jobs and that’s what we’re trying to facilitate.
“It’s always going to be a busy route and this isn’t going to take the congestion away completely.
“It’s going to take a number of years for people to see a shift.
“Hopefully what we’re trying to do is improve the bus offer so it will make people think about whether they use the car or bus.”
A consultation has been launched to seek people’s views on the proposals and a series of drop-in events will also be held.
The council is anticipating a large number of comments around changes to Shotton High Street, where a review of the current one way system has been suggested, along with creating formal parking bays in laybys.
Pending the result of the consultation, those measures will be introduced during 2020/21.
Meanwhile, the dedicated bus and cycle lanes from Shotton Lane to Queensferry could be brought in during the upcoming financial year.
Cllr Carolyn Thomas (Lab), cabinet member for streetscene and transportation, has asked residents to keep an open mind over the plans.
She said: “I’m concerned people will say work has been done in the past that’s not really achieved the traffic flows that were expected.
“I want them to keep an open mind and look at it positively as a solution despite the historic work that’s taken place.”
The first drop-in session has been scheduled for Tuesday 5th March at Deeside Leisure Centre between 11am and 8pm, with another one during the same times at the centre the following day.
Residents will also be able to find out more at a session held at Ysgol Croes Atti in Shotton on Monday 11th March from 4pm until 7.30pm.
You can view the consultation documents and respond to them by visiting the Flintshire Council website.
Alternatively, you can write to Lee Shone at Flintshire County Council, Alltami Depot, Mold Road, Alltami, Flintshire, CH7 6LG.
The consultation period is open until midnight of 22nd March 2019.
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).