THE city’s park and ride service has celebrated its 30th anniversary.
Beginning as a trial for the Christmas period, the service began in 1983 and has since operated from four locations and ferried millions of people to and from the city centre.
Councillors and officers involved in the original plan for the service joined the Lord Mayor of Chester, Cllr Jill Houlbrook and Cllr Lynn Riley, Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) executive member for localities, to celebrate the service’s anniversary birthday at the Wrexham Road park and ride site.
Cllr Riley said: “Our park and ride sites are always very popular and remain a key part of our transport network. The service is used by thousands of people each day and has built on the success of that very first trial in 1983.
“Its popularity continues across the four sites and provides a fast, reliable and cost effective service for local people and visitors to our historic city, as well as helping to improve traffic flow and air quality.”
The CWaC service operates from four sites at Boughton Heath, Upton, Wrexham Road and Sealand Road.
The sites have been awarded the Park Mark safer parking award and between them provide more than 3,000 parking spaces.
Cllr David Robinson, opposition spokesman for transport, who was involved in bringing forward the first site for the service, said: “Introducing park and ride to Chester 30 years ago was an act of true vision with cross-party support that was good for the environment, crucial to Chester’s economy and vital for sustainable access to our city.
“It is still popular and has stood the test of time. It is our duty at CWaC to ensure the overall traffic and transport vision for Chester allows our existing and future sites to flourish.”
John Butler, former chairman of highways and transport at Chester City Council, said: “I am delighted the vision of a small group came to fruition and continues to be a success thirty years on."
To view historic images depicting the different buses operating the park and ride service over the past 30 years is available to view online at www.flickr.com/photos/cheshirewest