ROADWORKS will soon begin at the A540 / Raby Park Road junction in Neston.

Cheshire West and Chester Council has worked closely with A54Zero, the group that has previously campaigned for safety measures at the junction to develop the highway improvement scheme.

The Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Councillor Karen Shore said: “The scheme includes widening of the junction, the inclusion of traffic lights as well as crossings for pedestrians and cyclists.

“We had to wait for land purchases to be in place before work could begin but we are now nearing a position to start these much-anticipated safety improvements at this location."

The next few weeks will see the first phases of the works with the removal of a number of trees and fencing to the new footprint for the proposed junction widening. The trees that will be removed for the improvements do not have any Tree Preservation Orders and have had a full ecological review.

This will be followed by utilities diversion works over the following months.  These diversion works are needed before construction work can begin at the junction.

Cllr Shore continued: “It’s unfortunate that to boost safety at this junction we will need to remove several trees alongside the A540 Chester High Road to allow for the widening to carried out. However, we will be planting replacement trees at various local locations to compensate for this loss.

“I’m pleased to say that the trees will be replaced at a ratio of three trees replanted for every one removed. Chippings from the felled trees will also be recycled for use locally such as on play areas and local pathways.

“We will provide updates on our website as the scheme progresses.”

The improvements were one of the priorities for Pauline Fielding MBE after the death of her son Andrew at the junction in 1994, after a collision with a motorist who left the scene and has never been identified.

Pauline died last year but not before she had heard that the improvements for which she had campaigned would be delivered. She was determined that nobody else should experience the same suffering and grief that the Fielding family have known since this tragic incident.  

This week four trees on private land alongside the junction have been cut down by the landowner, only one of these was due to be removed for the improvement scheme.