The traffic situation over the last couple of weekends clearly shows that the Red Route will not solve congestion problems in eastern Flintshire, it will make it worse at busy times.
That’s the view of Northop Community Councillor Linda Scott who said that over the recent Easter weekend “there was near gridlock on the A55 through Northop up the hill towards Holywell.”
The so-called ‘Red Route’ is a £250m scheme which aims to ease congestion problems along the Deeside corridor from the border with England at Sealand through to Northop.
Plans will see a new 13km two-lane dual carriageway, linking the A55-A5119 Northop Junction (Junction 33) with the A494 and A550 north of Deeside Parkway Junction, via Kelsterton Interchange and the Flintshire Bridge.
The Red Route was chosen ahead of an alternative ‘Blue Route’ – which would have seen improvements along the A494 Aston Hill and the Ewloe interchange with the A55 – following a 12-week consultation in 2017.
Cllr Scott said, “the Red Route will not prevent the queuing traffic on the hill, it will make it worse by merging the red route traffic into queuing traffic at the new Northop interchange at the bottom of the hill.
It will also make the poor traffic situation along the bottom road through Flint worse, as Rhyl and Prestatyn bound holiday traffic leaves the Red Route and heads through Flint to avoid the hold-ups on the hill towards Holywell.”
The Northop Community Councillor also said last Saturday’s closure of the Flintshire Bridge, due to high winds, “reminds us of the problems with the bridge.
We were told over a year ago that the county council had commissioned a half-million-pound report into how the Bridge could be upgraded to avoid these problems.
However, we have yet to hear the outcome of this report, suggesting that the Bridge’s problems could be very expensive to solve!”
The Welsh Government said it is in the process of appointing technical advisors to manage and deliver the ‘Red Route’ scheme.
The appointment will be followed by “procuring a contractor and designer who will develop the design, take the scheme through the statutory process and then onto construction.”
Deeside.com understands that construction is currently programmed to start in late 2022, early 2023 “subject to gaining the required statutory consents.”
Construction of the ‘Red Route’ is likely to take around two and a half years to complete.
Over 600 people have signed a petition calling on the Welsh Assembly to scrap its plans to build route, Cllr Scott said, “It is time for the Assembly to reconsider its support for the Red Route.”
You can view the petition here: https://www.assembly.wales/en/