Work is under way to create a controversial new vehicle access on to the University of Chester’s main campus from Parkgate Road.
Planning permission was granted last year to create a new junction based on the construction access road used to build the university’s new food technology centre.
The university says the new access is necessary to relieve the high traffic flow on the current Exton Road entrance which has resulted in traffic safety aspects that need addressing.
A letter from Simon Yan, of the university’s facilities department, wrote: “The second access proposal will give the campus a more desirable and enjoyable user experience making it safer for vehicle users, pedestrians and cyclists.”
During the planning process several residents raised concerns around the potential for extra traffic problems and road safety issues that could arise.
Peter Thompson, who lives in Parkgate Road, wrote: “The driveway of my property is diagonally opposite the proposed university access. The traffic flow has increased considerably since 1989 when we moved in. We have a long wait at all times to exit our drive either left or right. At peak times there is a build up of traffic mainly due to the signalled control at Exton Park.
“With this proposal, the university bound vehicles coming from the north turning right into the new access will have to give way from traffic coming out of Chester heading north down Parkgate Road. This will cause enormous tailbacks down Parkgate Road.
“At peak times access from my property, especially turning right, will be hazardous. As a result of the proposed access we will also be subjected to a lot more vehicle noise, including HGVs.
“The Exton Road access is some 300 yards from us, and should be widened to allow better access.”
But council highways officer Paul Parry wrote in his report: “Overall it is considered that it will not bring about a severe detrimental impact to the current state of operation of the A540 (Parkgate Road) and that there is some betterment to the existing access at Exton Park.”
University of Chester spokeswoman Alex Williams said: “Work on the construction of a new entrance/exit on to Parkgate Road began at the start of July. The new entrance/exit has been designed to reduce congestion and help ease traffic flow, both on Parkgate Road and on campus.
“It will be located next to 79 Parkgate Road where there is already a gated access to the campus.
“The main part of the work is being carried out on the university’s campus itself, with small alterations to the existing entrance. The project will take approximately 12 weeks in total, to be completed by the start of the new academic year.
“A letter giving notice of the work was hand-delivered to residents in the area before the work began.”