A statement from Councillor John Price, Leader of Chester City Council and Councillor David Evans, Deputy Leader of Chester City Council: February 11 2003
The Future of Transport in Chester- Chester City Council's Vision
Chester City Council is committed to delivering major improvements to transport in Chester and its rural area in line with the Community Plan and the City Council's Corporate Plan. Improvement to transport is critical to the future prosperity, environment and quality of life of Chester's citizens. Following the decision before Christmas by Cheshire County Council not to fund the Chester Deeside Transport System, Chester City Council makes the following statement:
The city council has been a strong supporter of CDTS and remains so. However, we recognise that the project cannot be delivered without the support of the county council. We still see the former Mickle Trafford Railway line route as a great opportunity for use as a sustainable transport route in the longer term. We will therefore continue to safeguard the route for this use in the Chester District Local Plan.
The county council has suggested that we should the deliver CDTS. The city council will not take the lead on this scheme for the following reasons:
We are not the Transport Authority - the county council is. It is the job of the county council to lead on the delivery of such major transportation infrastructure projects for Chester.
We will focus on delivering homes, jobs, heritage and culture, regeneration and enhanced environment for its community. To attempt to lead on CDTS would divert us from these key community priorities.
The City Council believes that there is an urgent need to refresh the existing Chester Transportation Strategy now that CDTS is "off the table". We need to assess the viability and priority of projects, which have already been agreed in principle, to address Chester's traffic and transport problems, such as:
Completing the ring of Park and Ride sites around the city
Bus priority measures
The Chester Western Bypass
Road-based bus system comprising enhanced customer information, stops, and routes
The improvement of Chester railway station area as a key transportation gateway and interchange
Rural bus provision
Traffic management and improved spaces for pedestrians
Safer walking routes
Safe cycle routes and cycle parking.
Enhancing the safely and attractiveness of public car parks
The city and county councils have worked closely with bus and rail operators on these issues. We will continue to work with our partners to deliver these benefits to residents, businesses and visitors. We will discuss the design and delivery of the Chester Western Relief Road with the Cheshire County Council and Flintshire County Council.
Chester is a beautiful place and is an attractive place for people to live, do business and visit. It is the gem of the north-west and also the economic engine for a wide sub region of Cheshire and North Wales. We are committed to improving transport in the District and making it more sustainable. We will work with the Cheshire County Council, Flintshire County Council and public transport providers to achieve these much needed improvements.
Councillor John Price, Leader of Chester City Council and Councillor David Evans Deputy Leader of Chester City Council
Contact Michael McGivern Public Relations Officer 01244 402362 / 07774 246088
We shall see... the Chester Evening Leader got it spot on in their editorial of the following day, 12th February 2003:
After a battle lasting more than six years, Chester City Council has finally admitted that the Chester to Deeside Transport System (CDTS) guided busway scheme is dead and buried.
With an expensive and lengthy public inquiry behind us, countless meetings between the city and county councils, petitions and protests all distant memories, the question is what now?
The city council say they will need to assess the viability and priority of transport projects.
The whole CDTS shambles will now no doubt be swept under the carpet- 'move on, let's look to the future', our leaders will no doubt tell us.
But these city leaders should know that there is more to it than that.
The people who spent years of their own time and money to fight the plans will not forget what happened so easily.
More than 1,100 individual and personal letters were sent to Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott and the DETR at the height of the campaign.
There were just two letters in favour of the project, one from the city council and one from the county council.
A petition from the Chester Evening Leader containing more than 1,600 signatures was also sent to Mr Prescott and the DETR.
Now that the whole disaster, which has cost taxpayers more than £500,000 (and the rest- around £3 million would be nearer to the truth. Ed)- is finally over, questions should be asked as to why so much money was thrown at a project that so many people in Chester clealry did not want.
Why were the thoughts and feelings of so many people ignored and pushed aside?
This shambles should not simply be forgotten. It should be remembered and seriously noted by those in power that the ordinary man on the street will not be ignored.
Is an apology from our city leaders now on its way?
Or are they too proud to apologise to the people who really matter- the voting public in Chester?
In addition, we invite you to take our Virtual Stroll Along the Mickle Trafford Railway for yourself!
Top of Page
Introduction | County Council statement
CDTS Letters | Chester: A Virtual Stroll Around the Walls | Sustrans Home Page | Contact us