Northwich Gyratory recommended for approval

A trial gyratory system should be made permanent to prevent Northwich roads being choked by additional traffic attracted by the town’s regeneration programme, says a report to Cheshire West and Chester councillors.

The council’s Executive (Tuesday, March 12th) are being recommended to formalise the experimental arrangements which have been in place since January, 2012, or risk damaging inward investment in the town.

The report by Steve Kent, Director of Community and Environment, says that public feedback questionnaire results reveal an approximate balance between support and opposition.  Changes made in August last year in response to complaints had addressed the majority of reasons specified by objectors.

Approval by the council’s executive will mean a comprehensive programme of permanent signage and road markings which Mr Kent says will respond to complaints about the temporary nature of signage.

In his report, Mr Kent said: “If the one-way gyratory is not adopted, there are tangible risks of significant congestion in the town centre due to increased traffic associated with major regeneration.

“If traffic congestion is seen as a major problem, there is a risk that the anchor projects will not galvanise the flow of inward investment that Northwich has been awaiting for many years.”

The one-way gyratory experiment was introduced in anticipation of having to cope with increased traffic from major projects aimed at transforming the economy and lifestyle of the town and residents.

Projects include the proposed Northwich Marina and Waitrose store at Hayhurst Quay, the 40-acre Barons Quay retail and leisure development, and the £12.5m Memorial Court entertainment and leisure venue.

The report to the Executive said that a variety of surveys before and after the introduction of the trial, and close monitoring of traffic in the town centre, have concluded the gyratory system plays a key role in improving capacity of the highway infrastructure.