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Chaos for Chester motorists as Posthouse roundabout roadworks scheme moves into new phase

Drivers urged to keep away from A483 and use alternative routes

Gridlock across the city has led the Highways Agency to urge drivers to keep away from the Posthouse roundabout while a £5.3m upgrade takes place and use recommended alternative routes.

  • Drivers travelling to and from the southern part of Chester are encouraged to use the A534 and the A41 while the lane closures are in place.
  • Drivers heading to and from the northern part of the city can use the A550, A55, A494 and M56 as an alternative route.

Roadworks are ongoing to tackle the ‘pinch-point’ at the A483-A55 junction but it means short term pain for commuters who have faced queues on all major routes into the city every day this week.

Roadworks at the Posthouse roundabout are causing long delays and having an effect on traffic entering Chester from all directions because of diverted traffic flow

Concerns have been raised by major employers on Chester Business Park, including MBNA, prompting a meeting with police taking place on Thursday, January 29.

Now the Highways Agency is considering putting more crews on the ground to enable 24-hour working, possibly up to seven days a week. More warning signs are being introduced on approaches. And a map has been released showing alternative routes.

Map showing alternative routes to avoid the roadworks at the A55-A483 junction

Once complete at the end of March, the agency says boosting the roundabout from three to four lanes and introducing a sensor-controlled traffic light system that responds to conditions will reduce gridlock and journey times between Chester and North Wales.

Project manager Mark Mosley said: “The roundabout is currently down to one lane on a short section and two lanes elsewhere so this is having a significant impact on journey times. We’re doing all we can to minimise the effect of the lane closures but are urging road users to find alternative routes if at all possible.

“Drivers will see a major improvement to their journeys when the project is completed, as we’re increasing the capacity of the roundabout as well as making several other changes to help the flow of traffic.”

The work programme began last September but until last week had only involved overnight restrictions with limited disruption.

Chris Burnham, roads policing liaison officer for Cheshire Police, is attending a meeting with MBNA and M&S Money and other business park occupants on Thursday, January 29.

Explaining the widespread knock-on effects, Mr Burnham continued: “By virtue of the fact the M53 links into the A55, people will avoid the work by using other routes, traffic gets displaced and impacts on other areas.”

Cheshire West and Chester Council spokeswoman Rachel Ashley said: “Our highways department instigated a meeting with the Highways Agency and Cheshire Police earlier this week to discuss the ongoing congestion around the A55/A483 Post House roundabout and the knock-on effects on the surrounding road network.

“The Highways Agency, which is responsible for the roadworks, confirmed it is bringing in a number of mitigation measures to try to ease the congestion. We will continue to monitor the impact of the roadworks on our network and remain in close contact with the Highways Agency.”

The £5.3m Chester project – part of the government’s £317 million pinch-point programme – is designed to support Chester Business Park and help generate investment which will potentially lead to more than 11,500 jobs and 1,700 homes in the area by 2020.

More details on the scheme are available at the Highways Agency website, where drivers can also sign up to receive email alerts.

People on Facebook shared their thoughts on traffic problems with us: Traffic jams in Chester: your tales of woe


David Holmes
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