Positive Progress for Cyclists in Chester

Gorse Stacks Cycle LaneThe Chester Cycling Campaign has had a number of notable successes and areas of positive progress recently, all of which contribute towards making the city a little more cycle friendly. Our members are sometimes working behind the scenes, meeting with councillors and developers. At other times, we are out out actively campaigning on the streets for changes to our city’s transport infrastructure. The work is very satisfying when we can see that our efforts have resulted in benefits for Chester cyclists.

Here are some examples of where we have made a difference recently. These successes illustrate the benefits of having an active and effective campaign to represent the interests of cyclists in Chester:

The reopening of the canal towpath in May 2019 following a significant amount of media coverage, including a broadcast radio interview on BBC Radio Merseyside together with Chester’s MP. The Campaign’s interventions highlighted the difficulties caused by the 18 month long closure of this strategic traffic free route along the canal towpath leading from the Garden Quarter into the City Centre through the Northgate Cut.

The Campaign is a designated member of the group involved in developing CWAC’s LCWIP (Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan). This group will work with the appointed consultants in order to develop a plan which will form the basis for funding bids and infrastructure development over the years ahead.

We campaigned successfully to have the council create a shared use footpath along New Crane Street to connect the riverside shared use path from the Cop Park on Sealand Road to the Riverside path leading to the Chester Racecourse. The creation of this ‘missing link’ eliminates the need for cyclists to cross the busy road twice to continue their journeys toward the city centre along the riverside path.

The Campaign successfully pressed for the creation of an advisory cycle lane on Gorse Stacks opposite the Bus Interchange to help protect cyclists travelling west towards Northgate Street. This was formerly the site of a number of dangerous encounters between cyclists and motor vehicles.

Proper bike racks have been installed at the new Liverpool Road Aldi store as a result of a Campaign member intervening to ensure that the Sheffield stands were installed at the correct width to enable two bikes to be parked on each stand (unlike the original installations at some other Aldi stores in the city).

The Campaign is an active participant in the Chester Sustainability Forum, chaired by Chester’s MP, Chris Matheson. This work has led to the submission to the Council of a revised Cycle Strategy for the City which, it is hoped, will kick start a review of the Borough-wide Cycling Strategy that was adopted by the Council some 5 years ago but which has not been reviewed or updated since.

We have developed close working links with Cycle North Cheshire, a campaign group focused on the communities of Helsby and Frodsham and nearby. This has led to joint meetings with senior officers of the Council and joint input to the development of a Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan for Cheshire West and Chester Council.

The submission of a consultation response to the Cheshire West & Chester Air Quality Improvement Strategy. Our input resulted in specific mention of the role of cycling in the improvement of local air quality by helping to reduce traffic emissions.

Successful campaigning resulting in the implementation by Highways England of cycling friendly improvements where the A540 (Parkgate Road) crosses the A550 (Welsh Road) known locally as Two Mills junction.

The staging of a series of family cycle rides in the Chester area to engage with and involve those families with younger children who may not be confident cyclists.

Active participation in the Council’s Active Travel Forum which is intended to take action to improve the levels of cycling and walking in the Borough, levels which have remained stubbornly low despite some new infrastructure improvements.

We always welcome assistance with any of our projects. Get in touch and find out how you can help! Or you can help the Campaign by simply joining as a member.

 

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