PLANS to reintroduce a 20mph speed limit on a historic Chester bridge which was twice damaged last year in car crashes have been put forward.

It is just under a year since Grosvenor Bridge was hit for the second time in about six months by a motorist failing to turn left on to the bridge and hitting the parapet head-on.

The impact caused significant damage to the Grade I-listed bridge and resulted in masonry blocks falling on to the pathway and cycle path below. Fortunately, there were no injuries.

The first of the collisions in March 2022 happened just after the speed limit on Grosvenor Road between the Castle Drive junction and near Overleigh Roundabout reverted to 30mph, having been 20mph for a couple of years.

Now Cheshire West and Chester Council is planning to formally keep the road at 20mph after all, with a traffic order due to come into effect in the next few weeks. Markings of 20mph have already been painted on the road surface, but without accompanying signage.

In recent months, cycle lanes have also been painted on to the bridge, designed by architect Thomas Harrison and opened in 1832.

The local authority says the reasons for the 20mph limit are: "To reduce the speed of traffic travelling adjacent to the cycle lanes on Grosvenor Bridge.

"The reduced speed limit aims to provide a safer space for cyclists at this location."

The safety measure will also be of benefit to two- and four-wheeled traffic further along Grosvenor Road, where a traffic island was installed for the benefit of pedestrians crossing between The Dingle and Overleigh Cemetery.

The width of the traffic island means the cycle lanes abruptly halt for a few yards in both directions as motor vehicles have to use the full width of the road around the traffic island.

In terms of repairs to Grosvenor Bridge, which has had temporary scaffolding in place for nearly a year, CWaC has said: "Following an options appraisal exercise, a preferred solution has been taken forward to the detailed design stage. 

"It will take some time to develop the solution into a buildable design, but we would hope to receive the completed design drawings within the next few months.

"We are looking at ways to both strengthen the bridge to prevent falling masonry and reduce the likelihood of an impact in the first place, though options are limited by the road layout and the Grade I-Listed status of the bridge.

"Reconstruction costs will be recovered from the drivers' insurance policies but strengthening costs will be borne by the council."