UPDATED: Swing bridges early warning system launched

Warrington Guardian: Swing bridge in Stockton Heath Swing bridge in Stockton Heath

THIS is the news many motorists have been waiting for.

Warrington Borough Council and Peel Ports have launched a new alert system to give motorists advanced warning of when the swing bridges on the Manchester Ship Canal will be closed to traffic.

A twitter profile and Facebook page have been set up to provide warnings 25 to 30 minutes before the swing bridges are due to open.

The launch of the new system comes after the Warrington Guardian revealed in January that Peel Ports was expecting 720 vessels to sail through Warrington this year, with around 124 of these sailing between peak periods, causing a year of long delays and disruptions for motorists.

Clr Linda Dirir, executive board member for highways, transportation and climate change, said: “We are absolutely committed to improving the congestion caused by the swing bridges and are working in partnership with Peel to come up with solutions that will benefit our residents and motorists who travel here.

“Informing road users in advance of bring swings means that they are able to make an informed decision as to either changing departure time to avoid the swing or use an alternative route.

“By reducing the number of vehicles using the three roads that cross the Manchester Ship Canal when a bridge swing is imminent will not only reduce congestion, but helps the environment by the reduction of harmful gases being emitted from standing vehicles.

“We listened to the concerns of residents and have done everything in our power to ease the situation and want to give the travelling public as much information as possible to allow them to plan their journeys.”

The council intends to develop the system further so that people can be alerted of bridge swings via e-mail and through the use of existing variable message signs which are located at key decision points on the highway, enabling drivers to alter their journey if they wished to.

The council will provide updates on these future developments as they progress. 

Electronic swing bridge warning signs can also be viewed en route to the swing bridges in Latchford, Stockton Heath and Walton.

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Comments (17)

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4:23pm Tue 15 Jul 14

ninearches says...

Will road accidents increase because people are paying more attention to their mobile travel alerts than the road ahead ?
Will road accidents increase because people are paying more attention to their mobile travel alerts than the road ahead ? ninearches
  • Score: 4

5:02pm Tue 15 Jul 14

steven46 says...

There are signs already in place saying when there is a boat going through, why not use these to give advance warning, saves people using their mobile phone whilst driving
There are signs already in place saying when there is a boat going through, why not use these to give advance warning, saves people using their mobile phone whilst driving steven46
  • Score: 11

5:15pm Tue 15 Jul 14

MikeJT says...

Completely useless if you are already driving and want to stay inside the law.
Completely useless if you are already driving and want to stay inside the law. MikeJT
  • Score: 3

7:40pm Tue 15 Jul 14

whatsgoingon1 says...

Might a sign saying 'Bridge will close in 30...29...28 ...minutes' be more useful, giving advance warning to alter your route. Maybe an indication of the direction of travel of the vessel i.e. East...West, could be included.
Might a sign saying 'Bridge will close in 30...29...28 ...minutes' be more useful, giving advance warning to alter your route. Maybe an indication of the direction of travel of the vessel i.e. East...West, could be included. whatsgoingon1
  • Score: 7

8:08pm Tue 15 Jul 14

Appleton girl says...

The warning sign in Stockton Heath is in the wrong place and you can see that the bridge is closed before you see the sign. All vehicles should switch off their engines whilst waiting for the bridge to reopen to save pollution. I am now following the warning system on Twitter and only 2 closure warnings were given today. The bridge in Stockton Heath was closed 3 times today. For those worried about drivers using their mobile phones, I think the idea is that you check before setting off on your journey.
The warning sign in Stockton Heath is in the wrong place and you can see that the bridge is closed before you see the sign. All vehicles should switch off their engines whilst waiting for the bridge to reopen to save pollution. I am now following the warning system on Twitter and only 2 closure warnings were given today. The bridge in Stockton Heath was closed 3 times today. For those worried about drivers using their mobile phones, I think the idea is that you check before setting off on your journey. Appleton girl
  • Score: 14

8:53pm Tue 15 Jul 14

Knowmenot says...

What a sensible answer from "Appleton girl" be positive. I do not use twitter or facebook but I can understand the thinking of actually planning your route. BBC local news is late at best. Did the swing bridge stick open this week? It was fine when I crossed it.
What a sensible answer from "Appleton girl" be positive. I do not use twitter or facebook but I can understand the thinking of actually planning your route. BBC local news is late at best. Did the swing bridge stick open this week? It was fine when I crossed it. Knowmenot
  • Score: 2

7:39am Wed 16 Jul 14

Johnny boy01 says...

what's the point in having these warining signs when the one on Knutsford Rd Grappenhall doesnt even work?, not giving us much any kind of notice and what if people dont use facebook or twitter?
what's the point in having these warining signs when the one on Knutsford Rd Grappenhall doesnt even work?, not giving us much any kind of notice and what if people dont use facebook or twitter? Johnny boy01
  • Score: 2

7:53am Wed 16 Jul 14

icooke69 says...

It would make more sense to use the Electronic Message Signs that have been installed rather than them just warning drivers to wear a seatbelt or check their tyres.
It would make more sense to use the Electronic Message Signs that have been installed rather than them just warning drivers to wear a seatbelt or check their tyres. icooke69
  • Score: 5

8:55am Wed 16 Jul 14

Reader says...

What about people who don't use twitter or facebook on a mobile phone is there another way we can find out when the bridges will be closing before we set off from home in the day ?
What about people who don't use twitter or facebook on a mobile phone is there another way we can find out when the bridges will be closing before we set off from home in the day ? Reader
  • Score: 3

10:06am Wed 16 Jul 14

AppleJunkie says...

On Chester Road there are 2 electronic signs, both on the approach into Warrington, the first is just by the entrance to the Crem, a message on this sign would be useless as by the time you see it you would be certainly with 30 minutes of crossing the bridge with out the fear of getting stuck (unless you plan to return within the 30 minutes) and if the bridge is already open your likely to be stuck in traffic by the time you have seen the sign. The second sign is after you have crossed over the bridge. There are no signs on Chester Road on the route out of Warrington.

Users of Twitter can turn on the 'Mobile Notifications' so that the alert would pop up on your screen without you having to touch your phone. Facebook users can check before they start their journey.

Maybe Warrington Guardian could also do their bit by adding the notifications to the top of the News pages as they do with the traffic alerts!
On Chester Road there are 2 electronic signs, both on the approach into Warrington, the first is just by the entrance to the Crem, a message on this sign would be useless as by the time you see it you would be certainly with 30 minutes of crossing the bridge with out the fear of getting stuck (unless you plan to return within the 30 minutes) and if the bridge is already open your likely to be stuck in traffic by the time you have seen the sign. The second sign is after you have crossed over the bridge. There are no signs on Chester Road on the route out of Warrington. Users of Twitter can turn on the 'Mobile Notifications' so that the alert would pop up on your screen without you having to touch your phone. Facebook users can check before they start their journey. Maybe Warrington Guardian could also do their bit by adding the notifications to the top of the News pages as they do with the traffic alerts! AppleJunkie
  • Score: 3

11:05am Wed 16 Jul 14

ninearches says...

This alert system assumes that everyone who drives is computer literate & has access to & the nouse to access the relevant sites of facebook or twitter.
Any notice of bridge problems needs to be in the public domain by means of clearly legible & adequate signage well before the bridges are encountered. An undertaking as large as Peel Holdings in conjunction with WBC should be only too happy to provide proper signage and advice for motorists at street level.
This alert system assumes that everyone who drives is computer literate & has access to & the nouse to access the relevant sites of facebook or twitter. Any notice of bridge problems needs to be in the public domain by means of clearly legible & adequate signage well before the bridges are encountered. An undertaking as large as Peel Holdings in conjunction with WBC should be only too happy to provide proper signage and advice for motorists at street level. ninearches
  • Score: 0

1:58pm Wed 16 Jul 14

I am Oliver Cromwell says...

Twitter, facebook !!! unbelivable....
Twitter, facebook !!! unbelivable.... I am Oliver Cromwell
  • Score: -1

12:23pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Stan Tonks says...

whatsgoingon1 wrote:
Might a sign saying 'Bridge will close in 30...29...28 ...minutes' be more useful, giving advance warning to alter your route. Maybe an indication of the direction of travel of the vessel i.e. East...West, could be included.
Of course all those lovely 20 zones will become 30 + again as we all race to beat the bridge and crash into cyclists, kids, mums with prams.

Far better to plan your journey with a bit of spare time, those of us that have lived here for years and never once been inconvenienced either in personal or business life apart from today and a few years ago when the bridge broke in the hot weather. Compared to the hours a month I can spend queuing on Thellwall or Birchwood my multiple daily crossings (usually four) of the swing bridges are a breeze.

Sent from my 'phone by Tappatalk whilst stationary in the queue for the broken down A50 bridge....
[quote][p][bold]whatsgoingon1[/bold] wrote: Might a sign saying 'Bridge will close in 30...29...28 ...minutes' be more useful, giving advance warning to alter your route. Maybe an indication of the direction of travel of the vessel i.e. East...West, could be included.[/p][/quote]Of course all those lovely 20 zones will become 30 + again as we all race to beat the bridge and crash into cyclists, kids, mums with prams. Far better to plan your journey with a bit of spare time, those of us that have lived here for years and never once been inconvenienced either in personal or business life apart from today and a few years ago when the bridge broke in the hot weather. Compared to the hours a month I can spend queuing on Thellwall or Birchwood my multiple daily crossings (usually four) of the swing bridges are a breeze. Sent from my 'phone by Tappatalk whilst stationary in the queue for the broken down A50 bridge.... Stan Tonks
  • Score: 4

6:36pm Thu 17 Jul 14

tojahejome says...

The swing bridges are part of Warrington life. Just get on with it.
The swing bridges are part of Warrington life. Just get on with it. tojahejome
  • Score: 1

9:38pm Thu 17 Jul 14

brabazon says...

Not much use when you are on a bus !!!!!!!!!!!!! What about when the bridge wont close like in last Monday morning rush hour !!!!!!!!!!!!
Not much use when you are on a bus !!!!!!!!!!!!! What about when the bridge wont close like in last Monday morning rush hour !!!!!!!!!!!! brabazon
  • Score: 1

2:48pm Sat 19 Jul 14

grey-area says...

Thought WBC and Peels were trying their very best to minimise bridge openings at peak times. Is this WBC and Peels pretending to be our new best friends and deflect the problem?

Just saying..............
..........
Thought WBC and Peels were trying their very best to minimise bridge openings at peak times. Is this WBC and Peels pretending to be our new best friends and deflect the problem? Just saying.............. .......... grey-area
  • Score: 1

10:06am Tue 22 Jul 14

nextdoor says...

Agree with the comments on using the electronic boards already in place.
They could also say 'Next planned swing bridge opening is ...' on the bottom so not to disrupt the check tyre pressure warnings. Peel must be able to provide advanced warning list which can be fed easily into a database and then linked to the boards ...

I'll be checking Twitter before I wander into Stockton Heath on my (30 min) dinner. I have also noticed Cheshire Police have been sometimes tweeting the openings too in recent days. Good work.
Agree with the comments on using the electronic boards already in place. They could also say 'Next planned swing bridge opening is ...' on the bottom so not to disrupt the check tyre pressure warnings. Peel must be able to provide advanced warning list which can be fed easily into a database and then linked to the boards ... I'll be checking Twitter before I wander into Stockton Heath on my (30 min) dinner. I have also noticed Cheshire Police have been sometimes tweeting the openings too in recent days. Good work. nextdoor
  • Score: 0
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