ANGRY councillors have hit out over proposals to build a Chester bypass into Flintshire.
Cheshire West and Chester Council’s proposed transport strategy includes an option to build a new link between Sealand Road (A548) and the A55/A483, which would skirt Broughton and Hawarden Airport and would include a bridge over the River Dee.
But Flintshire Council cabinet member and Sealand councillor Christine Jones described the plan as ‘ridiculous’.
“We’re totally against it,” she said.
“They can’t build without our say so and it’s not on our 10 year plan.”
CWaC’s transport strategy includes two options for a so-called Chester Western Relief Road.
As well as the route passing through Flintshire, a second option would run along the English/Welsh border in Saltney.
The strategy document suggests the relief road ‘would reduce traffic in the city by a substantial amount, and better connect developments such as Broughton Retail Park, Hawarden Airport and Airbus with the strategic road network’.
It goes on to say the scheme could bring “significant congestion and air quality relief to the city centre, and connectivity to west Chester and strategic employment sites in Flintshire, thus helping to facilitate the continuing development of this area and the wider city”.
But Cllr Jones said residents were ‘petrified’ the proposals might go ahead.
“There’s always worry once it’s written in black and white,” she said.
“It’s really upset my residents.”
Cllr Billy Mullin, councillor for Broughton North East, said he was “very concerned” about the proposals.
“It affects land within Flintshire and it would force more traffic into Broughton,” he said.
He said the Broughton Residents’ Action Group had requested a meeting about the proposals and one was being planned with Flintshire’s head of planning, Andrew Farrow.
“The deadline to make representations on the consultation document is October 18,” Cllr Mullin said.
“So we haven’t got a great deal of time. Obviously CWaC have got their own priorities, but it impacts on our residents.”
Flintshire Councillor for Saltney, Richard Lloyd, said he too was unhappy about the inclusion of the proposal in the transport strategy document.
“I’m certainly not happy with one of the options,” he said.
“It comes too close to the school and it would cut off part of the community.
“I’m also not happy that Saltney Town Council wasn’t informed.”
A CWaC spokesman said the transport strategy was vital ‘in order to address the longer-term needs of the city’ and said the relief road scheme had been on the table for ‘a significant period of time’.
The new Flintshire route, he said, could potentially better serve the wider regional transport needs than the second proposed route along the border.
The spokesman added: “If the consultation concludes this option is worth considering further, then it will be necessary for there to be significant discussion between Cheshire West and Chester Council and Flintshire Council, along with other key stakeholders, before any specific route is formally identified.
“The consultation document shows a line but this is only indicative and has been shown purely to raise the concept of a possible alternative route.”
Flintshire Council said it is aware of CWaC’s Chester Western Relief Road proposal.
Head of planning Mr Farrow said: “Flintshire County Council is aware of the proposals within the Chester Transport strategy and will be making a formal response in due course.
“In the meantime, we are encouraging colleagues at CWAC to meet with the town and community councils in Flintshire who would be potentially most affected to allow them to make a fully informed response.”