There are a few bits of interesting infrastructure in Chester, nothing joined up of course. One of the more creative bits of traffic engineering is the bridge over the railway on Westminster Road. The parallel Hoole Way/Road bridge is a complete nightmare as it occurs at the same point as the road narrows from two lanes to one, resulting in an impenetrable, never-ending procession of cars for most of the day. In order to minimise rat-running, Westminster Road has been made one-way, allowing passage from Chester into Hoole but not vice versa. A series of one way streets in Hoole itself further helps to minimise rat-running.
The good news is that the traffic engineers behind this Westminster Road bridge (possibly influenced by Cycling England’s Cycling Demonstration Town project) have realised that whilst motor traffic needs to be restricted in this way to prevent the surrounding area from suffering, cycle traffic does not. Westminster Road bridge is traffic light controlled, when a cycle approaches from the Hoole side, induction loops in the ground (or a push button if that fails) detect the bike and the traffic light quickly changes to green for the cyclist. It is my hope that the one-way system in the surrounding area will be amended to allow cycling the ‘wrong’ way now that the regulations have been changed to make this easier.
Whilst the quality of the cycle path up to the stop line certainly leaves a lot to be desired, being able to avoid Hoole Way/Road when on a bike makes this intervention very much welcome. When heading towards the city centre from here, the unwelcome and unnecessary barrier provided by the inner ring road can at least be bypassed using the Shropshire Union canal tow-path.
Update: Nice to see the local Rozzers have a lot respect for this cycling facility