A Chester city centre route barred to motorists for nearly 14 years is to be temporarily reopened on Monday (August 15) as part of works to build a new bus station at Gorse Stacks.
The road off Hoole Way Roundabout on to Frodsham Street had been only accessible by buses and taxis since 2002, with a controversial £70,000 automatic bollard system in place to deter anybody thinking of taking a shortcut.
But motorists can rest easy as the bollards, which had damaged dozens of vehicles over the years, will not be in place during the works.
The opening of the route is a direct result of the council closing part of Gorse Stacks from its junction with Oulton Place, next to the George Street Centre, to the junction with Cow Lane Bridge overlooking the canal, as the Gorse Stacks bus interchange project steps up a gear.
Cheshire West and Council has ensured all traffic is permitted to use the reopened road so people can access the Tesco, Iceland and Kaleyard car parks along Frodsham Street for the next 15 weeks.
Entry and exit to the car park at the rear of Waterside View will be maintained from the junction of Gorse Stacks and Oulton Place while the works are taking place.
Brookdale Place and the existing short stay parking bays will also be closed to vehicles and discussions will take place with local businesses regarding alternative delivery arrangements.
The works, expected to last 15 weeks, will include altering the kerb lines to footpaths, replacing the footpath paving material, and resurfacing carriageways.
Tesco and Iceland will be open as usual as the traffic restriction for ‘buses and taxis only’ off Hoole Way Roundabout is revoked.
Frodsham Street is presently closed to through traffic due to separate works being carried out.
Pedestrian access will be maintained on Brookdale Place throughout the works along with access to the rear of the businesses via Union Terrace.
Councillor Brian Clarke, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure, said: “The purpose of the temporary closures is to ensure the works connected to the bus interchange can be carried out in a safe and efficient way, while still maintaining pedestrian access along these routes.
“Our contractors, Graham Construction, have organised signage and also contacted residents and businesses in the area to explain what will happen.
“I’d like to thank everyone for their patience and support as this exciting project takes shape.”
The new Bus Interchange is part of the planned Northgate development in Chester city centre which is hoping to deliver 40,000 square metres of modern retail accommodation and create more than 1,180 new jobs.
The project is expected to open to the public in early 2017.