News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

New access road to A55 Northop Hall services aims to ease safety concerns

A new access road could be built to connect to services on the A55 at Northop Hall in order to address safety concerns, it’s been revealed.

Developers said an application to create a new junction at the A494 Mold Road leading to the services on the westbound carriageway was partly prompted by a death on the slip road into the site.

A number of meetings have been held between the owners of the Gateway to Wales services and the Highways Agency, who have raised issues with pedestrians crossing the expressway in order to get cheaper taxis to Deeside.

Data Properties said the roadside facilities, which include a Shell garage, McDonald’s,  Holiday Inn, Costa Coffee and OK Diner, attract a large amount of traffic.

However, customers living in areas such as Ewloe and Broughton are currently required to loop round at the Northop interchange to return home.

[Proposed new road leading from the A494 Mold to the services]

They said the new road would ease the problem and could also lead to McDonald’s launching a home delivery service.

In a statement prepared on the company’s behalf by consultancy firm Curtins, they said:

“This report has been commissioned in order to support a planning application for improved access which will address the current difficulties for locally based clients to return to their respective towns and villages to the east and north of the services without being compelled to drive to the interchange at Northop before being able to return.

“On health and safety grounds, it is contended that having additional traffic generation on the said major junction, such a provision would create a clear and unnecessary additional risk at that location.

“McDonald’s has confirmed that it would commence a home delivery service if the new proposed access road is provided.

“The reduction of traffic specifically coming to the McDonald’s site alone would reduce the risks at the slipway that has been the subject of many meetings between the respective owners and occupiers of the Gateway to Wales Services and the Highways Agency.

“Due to a fatality at the entrance into the services, new and improved signage and the cutting back of trees (was carried out) by the Highways Agency.

“The operators of the hotel in particular are aware that people are crossing the highway from the southerly side of the A55 to the easterly services in order to get taxis to say Deeside, as this reduces the fare.

“Indeed recent correspondence from the Welsh Government’s Traffic Planner notified the operators of pedestrians, including children have been seen walking along the highway.”

They added that the new road would also bolster trade for retail outlets on the site.

Comments are currently being invited on the application via the Flintshire Council website.

Feedback can be given until March 26, 2019 and the local authority is aiming to decide on the proposals by mid-April.

By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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