MORE than 2,000 people have joined a group in protest against controversial new bus and cycle lanes in Chester.

The new travel lanes on the A51 Boughton and the A5116 Liverpool Road were activated on October 5, after Cheshire West and Chester Council received £161,000 from the Government to implement 'active travel' initiatives in the city.

The funding came as part of the Government’s ‘Gear Change’ vision, which told councils in England to re-allocate road space for significantly increased numbers of cyclists and pedestrians, with some streets becoming bus and bike only, as part of a £250 million emergency active travel fund.

But while the scheme appears not to have had much of a detrimental effect on Liverpool Road, motorists and residents are up in arms over continued traffic jams on both sides of the A51 in Boughton.

Drivers say on the worst days, traffic stretches from The Bars Roundabout all the way to the junction with the A41, next to the Boughton Heath Park and Ride.

Boughton resident Ena Parkinson, who lives and works by the road affected by the new bus, cycle and taxi lane, set up the Facebook group, titled 'People against travel lanes Chester'.

She said the effect of the pollution from traffic now being stuck in the single lane outside her home and business was "palpable".

She added: "We have NHS workers who can’t do their jobs properly. An ICU nurse cane to my house last night to pick up posters for the hospital.

"People are angry and upset and it would seem that this Cabinet did not do the correct consultation before they did this.

"[CWaC council leader Louise] Gittins certainly irritated me by asking us what we had done to improve our carbon footprint.

"I’ve done loads of things; changed a car, I recycle everything, lots of stuff and everything I’ve done is negated by the pollution outside my front door, my house, my garden, my lungs. It’s just shocking."

Posters with the slogan 'NO! To the bus lanes' have been distributed, while the group's members are being invited to contact Transport Secretary Grant Shapps by email at

The Standard has contacted Cheshire West and Chester Council for a comment.

However, CWaC council leader Louise Gittins did temporarily join the group earlier this week to post a comment.

She said: "I’m well aware that passions have been raised by the active travel lanes. It's good to have this debate and would be interested to know what personal steps you would take to reduce your own carbon footprints to help in this global challenge?

"I don’t need to tell you all that this a government initiative and we worked with the department for transport on its implementation, within a very tight timescale.

"I’d like to reassure everyone we are listening and we want to do the right thing. The group to oversee the monitoring of the evidence will meet shortly and I’ll recommend that they post updates on here.

"I note also there is some misinformation and abuse of individuals at the council: both officers and councillors. Can I ask that you think before you write hurtful comments about people you don’t know. We are living in extremely challenging circumstances and we all need to look after each other."

The council has also announced it is to start building a new passenger waiting amenities at its busiest Park and Ride site at Boughton Heath.

Construction work will begin on the new building in November and will be completed in spring 2021. The area will be temporarily fenced-off while the work takes place.

The council’s deputy leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Councillor Karen Shore said: “Boughton Heath is our busiest Park & Ride site and the new building will mean passengers are able to purchase tickets and wait for buses protected from the weather.

“Bike lockers will also be included as part of the project for anyone wishing to cycle to and from the Park & Ride site, which supports the council’s Walk. Ride. Thrive initiative.

“Our Park & Ride service is a fast, safe way to get into the city centre and is now half price, at just £1, until January 2021. Also, NHS staff showing their ID badge can travel free from our Upton site.”

  • People who wish to give feedback on the travel lanes are urged to email