CLOSING Chester’s inner ring road by the amphitheatre is an option outlined in a vision for the future development of the city.
The One City Plan initially envisages down-grading the inner ring road to allow people to wander more freely between the main shopping areas and the Dee, Grosvenor Park and amphitheatre.
The plan, which is currently out for public consultation, says: “A key priority has to be to reduce and in time potentially remove the Pepper Street route past the amphitheatre for vehicles – except for residential and emergency access, and servicing.
“This road corridor currently acts as a restriction on the linkage of some of the key riverside and historic assets with the city centre, and constrains the amphitheatre’s potential to be a truly world class heritage attraction.”
But Chester’s Conservative MP Stephen Mosley is critical of this aspect of the plan.
In his official response, he wrote: “Whilst I can see the superficial advantages of downgrading the inner ring road, and closing sections of it – for instance around the amphitheatre – this cannot be done with the current dependence on the inner ring road by through-traffic.
“The majority of traffic using the inner ring road does not do so to go into and out of the city, but because all traffic travelling through Chester is funnelled onto the inner ring road via the two bridges across the River Dee.
“Without making a major effort to redirect and provide alternative routes for this through-traffic the effect of downgrading/closing the inner ring road will be to reduce the road capacity without reducing the demand and therefore create more congestion and more delay for traffic.”