All three Chester parliamentary candidates are backing a campaign to improve pedestrian and cycle safety at a bridge on a major route serving the city.
Businessman Adam Dandy has joined forces with Hoole residents Steve Howe and Mark Williams, a Lib Dem activist, to launch a petition calling for two pedestrian bridges either side of Hoole bridge which has narrow pavements.
Their respective political parties have previously called for action but nothing has ever happened.
The petition states: “The footpaths on either side of Hoole Bridge are not wide enough. If two parents pushing prams meet at any point along the bridge, one of the parents is forced to put their child/children into the flow of oncoming traffic.
"In the same way, cyclists using Hoole Bridge take their lives in their own hands, as the pavement is not wide enough for them to share with pedestrians, leaving the roadway as the only route over, thus making themselves a physical obstruction to the heavy flow of traffic, with no room to pass safely.
“Many drivers become impatient as cyclists slow whilst going up hill and often try to squeeze past, risking the cyclists’ lives, day in day out.”
Tory candidate Will Gallagher has actually met Mr Grayling at the bridge during his campaign.
He said: “Hoole Bridge should be a gateway to the city but is instead a traffic bottleneck that is challenging for motorists, dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists, and bad for our air quality too. I am really pleased that this petition is drawing attention to the issue, and it’s clear we need to take action.”
Labour candidate Chris Matheson has already been working on the issue as the sitting MP but claims a Tory minister refused his invitation to look at the bridge earlier this year, alleging ‘he was not interested’.
Mr Matheson said Hoole bridge had been identified as needing to be raised to allow overhead cables as part of the joint regional strategy for rail, called Growth Track 360. He wants a footpath and cycleway built into the new design.
Mr Matheson commented: “There is a case to be made for a temporary pedestrian and cycle bridge but I would rather get a brand new Hoole bridge that suits all purposes.”
Lib Dem candidate Lizzie Jewkes said: “Chester is a wonderful city sadly let down by under investment in its transport infrastructure. Nowhere is this more apparent than on Hoole Bridge.
"Here pedestrians, cyclists and motorists jostle for space in a dangerous and hostile environment that is far from a welcoming approach to our city.
"I support the action taken by the campaign to draw attention to this long-standing issue and I call upon all my political colleagues to do likewise.”