Deva Link > Canal > Greenway Cyclepath Opens

On 14 June 2010 the Millennium Greenway reopened following the completion of another of the four major Cycle Demonstration Town infrastructure projects.

Cyclists in West Chester now have set of new links between three popular routes, the Deva Link shared use path, the Millennium Greenway, and the canal towpath. The heavily engineered links involved a great deal of earth moving, foundation laying, and reinforcement of the adjoining slopes. The completed project also includes street lighting, railings, and some prominent signage.

The Chester Cycling Campaign understands from Cheshire West and Chester council that no council tax money was involved in the construction of the link which was funded from Connect2 and Cycle Demonstration Town grants.

The new three-way link provides steps for pedestrians and a series of linked tarmac ramps for cyclists, wheelchairs, and buggies. The finished project will be welcomed by cyclists travelling to popular destinations like the Greyhound Retail Park, the Stadium Way allotments, and the University of Chester.

Visit our photo gallery to see some images of the completed project.


  1. What a mess has been left by the contactors at the Brook Lane site on the Greenway. Whoever paid for this needs to be having a word! However I guess this is nor surprising given the scant regard they had for cyclists evidenced in the temporary narrow entrance with its surface of lumpy hardcore.

  2. I for one welcome the new link between the the two major traffic free routes, the canal and the greenway and the existing cycle lanes network. Rather than whinging I think that the energy should be expended on getting Chester University to have direct access at this point (if not already plans) to facilitate cycle commuting by the students to the Parkgate Road campus and between campuses up to Kingsway.

  3. Sadly i rodethis ramp yesterday and while a lot of civil engineering has gone on, what a waste of money has been spent,it starts from the middle of a fast road, already the scene of the death of a cyclist at the blacon lights,it then winds up the slope to the cannal and the milenium route.

    I am sure better things could have been found to spend the money on,like more secure bike parking, (lockers), and more cycle crossing points of roads, perhaps even a dedicated cycle lane on Hoole road bridge.

  4. Finished at last! What a pointless project and waste of money. Still, thanks for trying.

  5. Tim

    Please no more tarmac! The world does not revolve around road bikes – lets leave some parts of the countryside as .. well.. countryside.

  6. The extended closure is playing havoc with our fitness regime! I also know people used this particular cycleway to get and from work too. With the busy traffic, frankly, cycling on the roads is not a safe option. There seems to be very little progress and a lot of destruction! Apparently, a large budget was put forward to enable Chester to describe itself as a “Cycle Friendly City”…well, currently, it’s more unfriendly than before the “help” was made available.

  7. I see the 7 weeks has now become 12 weeks.(most of the early spring) could you not get the heavy digging compleated and reopen the path and use the churned up edge as access to complete the work regards michael

  8. Why do they need to remove 3500tons of earth? All they need is the new path they’ve created from the canal to the Deva Link. Surely we could have thought of other ideas to spend the money on in Cheshire? For a start how about linking up to the Wirral country park way from Shotton? Or tarmacing the canal path past Waverton to Tattenhall? I was so surprised I posted a blog.

  9. Dave C,

    I am sure many Chester cyclists will share your concerns. Below is a copy of a communication from a member of staff of Cheshire West and Chester council at Backford Hall which addresses some of the points you have raised.

    “First of all I would like to apologise for the lack of communication. This particular job has been beset by difficulties caused by the huge internal restructure following the East/West Cheshire split, and by budgetary constraints. Because of this I have overlooked the communication side of things and I am sorry.”

    “As you know, the work is part of the wider Sustrans Connect2 scheme to improve access to safe walking and cycling routes nationwide. We are building a series of ramps to link the Shropshire Union Canal towpath, the Millennium Greenway and the Deva Link footway/cycleway to improve access to the off-road routes. At this point, the Greenway runs along the top of an embankment which slopes steeply down to the Deva Link. We have therefore removed approximately 4500 cubic metres of earth from the embankment to keep the ramp gradients as shallow as possible. This has involved a great deal of construction traffic running up and down the Greenway from the only feasible access point at Brook Lane. After much thought, the contractor decided, with our approval, that it would be better for the traffic to run along the verge rather than the paved surface because it will be easier and cheaper to repair the verge than to re-lay the tarmac.”

    “The Contractor will reinstate the path and the verges to our satisfaction and, as we are now entering the main growing season, it should not be long before the area looks almost back to normal. I am very sorry indeed that your hard work has been undone but I understand that there are outline plans to replace at least some of the flowering bulbs in the future. I hope you will understand that our main aim with this scheme has been to open up the Greenway to more local people by improving access to it. Given the current access restrictions it is almost impossible to carry out work on this scale without causing some damage and disruption. I fully understand how frustrating and disheartening it must be to see such apparent devastation but hopefully it will be temporary and the improved access will make it worthwhile.”

  10. How temporary is temporary? 5 of the 7 scheduled weeks have past and there is no sign of any construction work being carried out. What we have to look at is a sea of churned up mud where the old surface was ripped up. The suggested diversion has you crossing two very busy roads (alright there is a pelican crossing at one site)and negotiating probably the most dangerous roundabout (for cyclists) within a 20 mile radius. When will the work be completed and the NCN passage through Chester reopened?

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