A FREE bus service will be in operation for people receiving their Covid-19 vaccine at the large-scale centre at Chester Racecourse.

The new vaccination centre is set to open on Tuesday (February 16) and will be able to deliver thousands of jabs every week for residents across the borough in key priority groups.

It is located close to Chester’s ‘Clockwise route’ – the road diversion scheme put in place while a vital new drainage tunnel is built for the city centre.

Residents driving to the racecourse are being asked to take extra time and care if they are unfamiliar with the new Clockwise route for the inner ring road.

They are advised to use a smart phone sat nav on handsfree to get the most up-to-date routes, journey time information and live updates on traffic, even if familiar with the route.

More information on the diversions is available at clockwisechester.com

Cheshire West and Chester Council has arranged for a bus to operate from the Chester Bus Interchange to the Racecourse.

This link will operate every 20 minutes between 9.30am and 3.30pm, Mondays to Fridays, and until 4.30pm on Saturdays, to enable people to use public transport to get to the vaccination centre.

The Park and Ride service is also available for people who do not want to drive into the city centre itself, with route PR1, between Wrexham Road Park and Ride and the city centre, stopping at The Abode, in Grosvenor Road, just a short walk from the racecourse.

The council says all bus services are Covid-safe.

Council leader Louise Gittins said: “The council is proud to be working so closely with the Racecourse and NHS partners in the delivery of the vaccination programme, as well as offering the free bus service to get people to the vaccination site.

“This will speed up Cheshire’s Covid-19 Vaccination Programme even more and help in the fight against this virus.

“There are major works going on to improve the city centre so it's well worth planning ahead and researching alternative ways to get around and make it to your vaccination appointment.”

The mass vaccination centre at Chester Racecourse will be by appointment only and staffed by clinicians, led by the Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Trust, and a range of qualified volunteers and racecourse staff.

Other local NHS hospital trusts, GP practices and pharmacies have established vaccination clinics across the borough to maximise the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccination.

People aged 70 and above who have not had their COVID-19 vaccination can book an appointment nhs.uk/covid-vaccination, where they can choose a time slot and location that suits them.

People who are eligible, but without online access, can call 119 to book a vaccination between 7am and 11pm seven days a week. People are also able to book appointments on behalf of people they care for if they are unable to do it themselves.

  • To find out more about the Covid-19 vaccination programme in the borough, visit cheshireccg.nhs.uk .