Cheshire West and Chester Council are planning to make some changes to Upper Northgate Street and George Street junction, Chester. This is part of a larger programme of work, which includes the new Chester Bus Interchange, currently under construction in Gorse Stacks. The Chester Cycling Campaign has been involved in the planning for these changes in an effort to make the new road layout as cycle friendly as possible.
When the new Bus Interchange opens next spring the buses that currently travel down Northgate Street will be re-routed to Gorse Stacks. This means that there will be a significant reduction in traffic to Northgate Street. When the buses are relocated the existing bus lane in Upper Northgate Street will not run towards the city from Fountains Roundabout. Some buses will still come into Upper Northgate Street via Canal Street and will need access into Delamere Street to get to the new bus interchange. It is our intention to reverse the direction of the current bus lane and allow access into Delamere Street. This means the bus companies will not need to travel around Fountains roundabout lengthening passenger journeys. Cyclists, taxis and other authorised vehicles will also be able to use the bus lane.
The traffic lights at the junction of Canal Street and Northgate Street are to be removed with two new zebra crossings to be put in place instead. Most importantly, the Campaign has been assured that the current permissive right turn for cyclists heading from Canal Street into Northgate Street will be retained.
For cyclists heading south in Upper Northgate Street there will be a segregated cycleway on the footway going towards the city on the same side as the Bull and Stirrup pub. This cycleway terminates with a ramp taking cyclists onto the roadway ready to proceed south towards the city centre without the need to dismount and use the zebra crossing at this point.
The Campaign feels that given the limitations of the traffic layout, the plan below represents a satisfactory solution for cyclists.
For the full picture of the changes, check out the PDF plan below.