SHOPKEEPERS in Northgate Street stopped the traffic to demonstrate in favour of pedestrianising their road.
Retailers momentarily blocked the road on Thursday to call for measures to improve the environment for shoppers and encourage trade.
They are challenging the One City Plan proposal that Northgate Street should remain a bus route.
Traders handed a petition into Chester Renaissance calling for buses to be routed around the ring road with restrictions on traffic between 10.30am and 4.30pm like other city centre streets.
Organiser Rod Cox, of Alexander’s Jazz Theatre Bar, said: “We want pedestrianisation and we want better pedestrian links with the university as well. We think it’s awkward to walk down there at the moment and the pavements could be widened.”
Mr Cox wants Northgate Street to reap the benefits from the Northgate Development scheme should it ever happen.
He added: “We don’t want to be the service road for the new development. We want this street to be a shopping street in its own right.”
Mr Cox claims Cheshire West and Chester Council and Chester Renaissance listen to the ‘big guys’ in drawing up visions like the One City Plan but only consult the public once the schemes are essentially in place.
Rita Waters, chief executive of Chester Renaissance, said traders’ view would be taken into consideration as part of the development of the One City Plan.
She said: “We welcome what they are suggesting and it will get fed in. We are still in the consultation phase at the moment.”
Mrs Waters said it was ‘disappointing’ if people felt their views don’t count. But she countered that the One City Plan had started ‘a blank sheet of paper’ which had been produced following consultations with, among others, residents, students, tourists and small businesses.