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Traffic Interventions to Support Social Distancing at Parkgate

Author: Carrie Spacey Published: 16th July 2020 11:35

Concerns raised by local residents over safety for pedestrians on Parkgate Parade are being addressed by Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Parkgate ParadeTemporary lights will be in place from halfway across the junction with Mostyn Square, to allow continued safe access to and from Coastguard Lane and sufficient room for turning if required.

Recently installed posts, designed to help with social distancing, raised concerns after queues for local businesses in the space created meant that passing pedestrians were forced to walk on the main carriageway, which was rendered narrower than normal by the coned section.

The council's Highways team will trial temporary traffic lights between Mostyn Square and the Red Lion on the Parade - the 'pinch point' thought to be the most hazardous during busy times.  Traffic and pedestrian movement over the weekend will be carefully monitored. If the system is deemed to be helping, it will most likely be used at weekends for the remainder of the summer.

Cllr Martin Barker, Cheshire West and Chester ward member for Parkgate, said: "We appreciate that what we are trying to do is both different and difficult for everyone and we are trying our best to get this right and make it safe.

"Therefore in response to feedback regarding the narrowing of the road and pinch point between the Red Lion and Mostyn Square, we are introducing a traffic light system on a trial basis and we will monitor this over this weekend."

A further statement from Cheshire West and Chester Council adds: "Parkgate is a popular and much-loved tourist destination, which is currently drawing the crowds.

"Traditionally there is traffic congestion when tourists visit the area - the high volume of pedestrians, cars and cyclists creates pressure points on The Parade.

"Now with the Government's social distancing guidance - to remain 2m away other people wherever possible - there is clearly a need for traffic interventions to try and ensure the safety of everyone.

"The first step has been to place cylinders at the highest visitor pressure points to give pedestrians more space and opportunity to be able to comply with social distance guidance.

"The next step, which will be in place this weekend, is to introduce temporary traffic lights on the narrowest section between The Red Lion and Mostyn Square to further enhance road safety for users."

Neston Town Centre

Meanwhile, a survey of businesses in Neston Town Centre resulted in a decision not to introduce any further distancing measures for the moment.  Business owners and managers were asked to comment on options including a one way pedestrian system and a one way traffic system, but the majority of those who responded were against the introduction of these options.

Coning off of lay-bys will remain in place for the time being and the council will monitor and review measures periodically over the coming weeks and months.

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At 12:04 on 16th July 2020, CB commented:
Waste of time and money, whilst i appreciate we need to keep people safe surely a better way would be to close the road to cars at each end of the prom. Parkgate will be bedlam, hope the lights change quickly because if they dont will only cause further disruption.
At 13:08 on 16th July 2020, Ian commented:
Oh no! When the council first gave notice of its plans it said that “no waiting” areas would be introduced. It did not say it would make the road even narrower so as to exacerbate existing traffic congestion, make the road even more dangerous for pedestrians (note how the posts are being knocked over already as larger vehicles must have real problems when the road is busy and it has become harder for regular sized cards to pass one another safely in more places) and make it dangerous for vehicles getting onto the parade from Coastguard Lane. To introduce traffic lights during busy periods is sure to create moments of gridlock when traffic trying to drive through on green get stuck due to the build up of traffic at the opposite end. As a resident of Parkgate I shall try to plan only to use the Parade at mornings and evenings. Whilst on the subject of social distancing I assume the council will ensure that any further episodes of crowds buying alcohol and then gathering to drink it on the Parade roads and pavements during this difficult period will be dealt with swiftly? As CB suggests, solutions to the problem would require very bold ideas.
At 15:21 on 16th July 2020, Ian commented:
Carrie, the traffic lights have already been put in place. I made a trip that I had to make up to Neston and upon my return the area around the traffic lights was gridlocked. As it seems to be impossible to talk to CWAC do you have a route to talk to someone who can sort this stupidity out? The folk who are making these decisions need to get out and look at the effects of their decisions. God help us when the sun comes out!
At 18:20 on 16th July 2020, Vigilant commented:
I often thought a one way system would alleviate most of Parkgate problems. Either that or displace them elsewhere!
Far too busy on nice days/bank holidays and the road is too narrow For the traffic volume.
Carrie Spacey
At 21:30 on 16th July 2020, Carrie Spacey responded:
@Ian, I have no idea why the lights were up today, all correspondence I have seen referred to Friday at the earliest. To take up any matters, or if you wish to make your own suggestions, please email martin.barker@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk
At 23:09 on 16th July 2020, Ian commented:
Thanks Carrie
Robin H
At 10:16 on 19th July 2020, Robin H commented:
I'm a 'local resident' that walks and drives and want to say that the creation of a second walkway along The Parade is a brilliant new solution to the years' old problem of accessibility, congestion, safety and, now, social distancing. Obviously there are some glitches and technical issues to resolve but I hope it becomes permanent. Previous putative solutions, voiced in the Neighbourhood Plan of 2016, of a 'green beach' or boardwalk along the retaining wall for the Parade, remain good but this is lateral thinking.
Mrs S
At 12:32 on 21st July 2020, Mrs S commented:
We have to drive along the Parade to get to our house. At the moment we avoid the stretch mentioned. Our experience has been that its more dangerous for pedestrians rather than less. An innovative approach is definitely needed but as a user of the Parade on a daily basis this we believe has made things more difficult. I've actually become really nervous about this drive (im not generally a nervous driver) so am taking an inconvenient detour instead.
At 13:13 on 21st July 2020, Ian commented:
Mrs S., I believe the "innovative approach" needed is, and I understand that some folk will not be happy with the idea, to have a strictly (and properly enforced) no waiting/parking at all on the marsh side of the road between the Donkey Stand and a point North past Mr Chow's up to the next pinch point in the road. That should free up the carriageway (no gridlock) and make for a much safer pedestrian experience.
Dave Carter
At 13:26 on 21st July 2020, Dave Carter commented:
I agree with the last, strict and enforced no parking is what is needed. Possibly a small number of disabled bays, but the vast majority of users should have no problem walking from the large and mostly unused car parks at either end.
At 20:06 on 3rd August 2020, BHFL commented:
Parking enforcement is, I believe, the work of the local Authority, BUT, when poor parking causes an obstruction, which frequently happens in Parkgate, it can be dealt with by the police.
The Police in North Wales take a no nonsense approach and have dealt with cars causing obstruction to the highway around Snowdon by fining heavily and/or by towing away the offenders' car. Brilliant and a great deterrent.

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