THERE will be a 'roadworks embargo' across Northwich and Winsford for the Christmas period to keep the festive season running smoothly.

There will be a suspension of all non-essential roadworks in Chester city centre, all major towns and major retail outlet areas across the borough from noon on Monday until 11.59pm on Sunday, January 9.

Only essential emergency repairs to utility services will be granted permission to work on the road network in these areas, as well as the ongoing works for the Northgate drain project.

In Northwich, no roadworks to take place within the town centre area and also on the following roads within a two mile radius of the Municipal Building – A556, A533, A559, B5082 and School Lane, Hartford.

This excludes works on London Road to the pedestrian crossing.

In Winsford, no roadworks will take place within the town centre area and on the following roads within a one and a half mile radius of the Municipal Building – A54, A5018, B5074, Bradford Road and Road One.

The council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for environment, highways and strategic transport, councillor Karen Shore said: "At this time of year we of course see a significant increase in visitors in and around our major shopping centres, in the run-up to and through the Christmas and New Year periods.

"A roadworks suspension has worked well in previous years and will help freight, visitors and shoppers access the borough’s wonderful shopping and leisure facilities by keeping traffic running smoothly.

"We may, of course, need to grant permits for work on the road network during these dates if emergency repairs are needed to ensure the supply of vital utility services to homes and businesses."

The suspension only applies to the borough’s road network, however the council’s Highways Service is working with the other network operators, including National Highways and Network Rail, to minimise the impact of any proposed works on their own networks, through promoting off-peak and night-time working.