Effect of New Road Layout in Northgate Street on Cyclists

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.

Plan of Upper Northgate Street Changes


  1. I received a bus lane penalty notice last December for driving on Upper Northgate St. I appealed on the grounds that a sign directing me to the M53/M56 pointed me towards the bus lane. It is now 4 months since my appeal and I have not received any form of reply. I assume my appeal has been accepted but wonder how many motorists have paid their fine when they should not have.

  2. I am not clear as to how the junction of George St and Frodsham St at Cow Lane Bridge might be affected or what traffic flows it will have. The traffic lights there are currently an issue for cyclists approaching Frodsham St from Brook St as they stay on red far too long and because, at least on most occassions, it would be perfectly safe for cyclists to head stright over. Has any thought been given to this (perhaps by having an ‘Orca’ lane which could be used by cyclists irrespective of what phase the traffic lights are at? Apologies if this has been covered elsewhere and I have missed it

  3. This layout looks to be cycle friendly, but I am concerned that cyclists fro the Fountains roundabout, particularly those unfamiliar with the location, will find crossing Delamere St and the opposing bus lane difficult. It appears they should come off the roundabout moving to the rhs of the lane and onto the central island before crossing the pink bus lane and down the south flowing shared footway. This will be fine providing they do this early and drivers are expecting them to do it. Good signing and road-marking are therefore essential.

Leave a Reply to ken thomas Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.