Warrington's £126million plan to solve town's traffic nightmare

An extra crossing at Bridge Foot could be vital for improving business in Warrington

An extra crossing at Bridge Foot could be vital for improving business in Warrington

First published in News by

A £126 million vision would revolutionise the daily commuter journey, unlock swathes of development land and create new homes and jobs.

Now all council bosses have to do is convince Government that it is an investment worth making here in the town.

The Warrington Guardian got the chance to see plans for a new high level crossing of the Manchester Ship Canal which would also bypass the bustling Bridge Foot.

The crossing, along with the new bridge linking from Chester Road to the south of the Centre Park development which has already has funding earmarked, could transform the Warrington waterfront scheme which has long been an ambition of the council.

Council leader Clr Terry O'Neill said: "We have been looking at this type of scheme for three years. It's only this year that I can see it developed but we need Government help.

"Delivering some of the schemes means we have to go the extra mile."

And with potential works to link up and improve the bridge over Slutchers Lane also on the horizon it will offer an alternative access north of the business estate without having to negotiate Brian Bevan Island and Bridge Foot at all.

But perhaps most importantly of all would be the new bridge crossing from the south linking to Sankey Way.

Because it would not merely act as a bypass from the town centre but also unlock what the council sees as prime development land in Arpley Meadows.

But the scheme does not come cheap at £70 million.

Director of regeneration at Warrington Borough Council Andy Farrell said: "The only way to solve congestion is a fixed bridge from Chester Road to Sankey Way through development area at Arpley Meadows.

"It will bring out the development sites and take traffic out of the town centre.

"Not only does this system tackle congestion in the town it creates 1,500 new jobs and 1,000 new homes. The output is significant.

"There is a new bridge we have funding for from Chester Road to Centre Park which we have funding for and should start in 2016.

The plans are being backed by Warrington South Labour parliamentary candidate Nick Bent.

He said: "I want to make sure whoever is in Government we can continue with this positive momentum so we can get what the town needs and deserves.

"I think it's a big scheme for the town and I admire the ambition Terry and the council have got for the future of the town.

"We should think big in Warrington.

"It ticks a number of important boxes, not just reducing congestion but more homes and jobs too.

"There is a massive need for homes in the town and it will be a big boost in the economy. Property is still too high and we want those young people coming through our good schools and colleges to have opportunities in our town."

Comments (15)

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8:40am Thu 4 Sep 14

grey_man says...

Great news, if it gets the go ahead
Great news, if it gets the go ahead grey_man
  • Score: 3

9:01am Thu 4 Sep 14

Reader says...

How come only the Warrington Guardian are allowed to see the visionary plans but we aren't ? Sounds good though but it would be even better if we could all bee an image of the plans to fully understand.
How come only the Warrington Guardian are allowed to see the visionary plans but we aren't ? Sounds good though but it would be even better if we could all bee an image of the plans to fully understand. Reader
  • Score: 30

9:29am Thu 4 Sep 14

Freeborn John says...

Anyone familiar with Sankey Way will see the flaw in this plan.
Where does all the traffic go from there, exactly?
Anyone familiar with Sankey Way will see the flaw in this plan. Where does all the traffic go from there, exactly? Freeborn John
  • Score: 9

11:24am Thu 4 Sep 14

TherealLB says...

*points at elephant in the room*
Omega is being built currently off junction 8. The traffic in our area is already insane from Lingley Mere at 5.30pm. And yet there doesn't appear to be anything planned infrastructure wise to alleviate this problem and this is where the expansion is?
Shortsighted much?
*points at elephant in the room* Omega is being built currently off junction 8. The traffic in our area is already insane from Lingley Mere at 5.30pm. And yet there doesn't appear to be anything planned infrastructure wise to alleviate this problem and this is where the expansion is? Shortsighted much? TherealLB
  • Score: 10

12:22pm Thu 4 Sep 14

WA5 Man says...

Surely we need a strategic plan to get traffic NORTH and EAST of the town not West? Again, those at WBC in charge of Traffic and Roads are clueless
Surely we need a strategic plan to get traffic NORTH and EAST of the town not West? Again, those at WBC in charge of Traffic and Roads are clueless WA5 Man
  • Score: 3

12:26pm Thu 4 Sep 14

tojahejome says...

About 16 years ago, Midland Way was put in to get traffic from Preistly Street across town. For a while this worked really well until an ever increasing amount of traffic lights and junctions were put in.
About 16 years ago, Midland Way was put in to get traffic from Preistly Street across town. For a while this worked really well until an ever increasing amount of traffic lights and junctions were put in. tojahejome
  • Score: 10

12:33pm Thu 4 Sep 14

HappyMisery says...

TherealLB wrote:
*points at elephant in the room*
Omega is being built currently off junction 8. The traffic in our area is already insane from Lingley Mere at 5.30pm. And yet there doesn't appear to be anything planned infrastructure wise to alleviate this problem and this is where the expansion is?
Shortsighted much?
I'd think that Birchwood, Woolston and Winwick would be higher priorities as these are the areas that gridlock daily as soon as theres any weight of traffic on M6, M62 or M56. The idea of this will alleviate pressure on these areas as people pass through town to avoid the traffic. This will help towards 4 areas of congestion rather than just one, although I do sympathise as its bedlam most days across Sankey.
[quote][p][bold]TherealLB[/bold] wrote: *points at elephant in the room* Omega is being built currently off junction 8. The traffic in our area is already insane from Lingley Mere at 5.30pm. And yet there doesn't appear to be anything planned infrastructure wise to alleviate this problem and this is where the expansion is? Shortsighted much?[/p][/quote]I'd think that Birchwood, Woolston and Winwick would be higher priorities as these are the areas that gridlock daily as soon as theres any weight of traffic on M6, M62 or M56. The idea of this will alleviate pressure on these areas as people pass through town to avoid the traffic. This will help towards 4 areas of congestion rather than just one, although I do sympathise as its bedlam most days across Sankey. HappyMisery
  • Score: 7

12:34pm Thu 4 Sep 14

WInwick Pig says...

Headline £126 m cost for route £70m.
Would be interesting to know where the other £56m is going?

Whislt I welcome the proposal and hope it goes ahead, builidng a bridge just into the business park doesn't really get you easily to Sankey way.
Ideally if this was to work the bypass needs to cross the mersey 3 times and the westcoast main railway line and then maybe even the Sankey valley canal before it joins the road at a point where it would offer the best releif for the town centre.

Even then if you look at the area from above the path of least resistance, where there are no housing estates, would mean a road through the Sankey recreation ground.

If the hope is to use the meadows for future business I am sure WBC would consider the increase in traffic to this area and not just plan for the current volume, wouldn't they? :-)

Just like they did for Omega??

Heres to hoping
Headline £126 m cost for route £70m. Would be interesting to know where the other £56m is going? Whislt I welcome the proposal and hope it goes ahead, builidng a bridge just into the business park doesn't really get you easily to Sankey way. Ideally if this was to work the bypass needs to cross the mersey 3 times and the westcoast main railway line and then maybe even the Sankey valley canal before it joins the road at a point where it would offer the best releif for the town centre. Even then if you look at the area from above the path of least resistance, where there are no housing estates, would mean a road through the Sankey recreation ground. If the hope is to use the meadows for future business I am sure WBC would consider the increase in traffic to this area and not just plan for the current volume, wouldn't they? :-) Just like they did for Omega?? Heres to hoping WInwick Pig
  • Score: 2

12:40pm Thu 4 Sep 14

kazrobo says...

Hurry up and do it, especially as more businesses are moving to the area and IF the Bridge St renewal project is a success this is something that needs priority!
Hurry up and do it, especially as more businesses are moving to the area and IF the Bridge St renewal project is a success this is something that needs priority! kazrobo
  • Score: 3

1:17pm Thu 4 Sep 14

Benjamin Behr says...

This sounds like a very good idea - a new Mersey crossing to the south west of the town centre go go with the existing crossing in the town centre and the crossing at the north of Latchford to the east of the town centre.
This sounds like a very good idea - a new Mersey crossing to the south west of the town centre go go with the existing crossing in the town centre and the crossing at the north of Latchford to the east of the town centre. Benjamin Behr
  • Score: 3

1:42pm Thu 4 Sep 14

Jimmcbride says...

Why not put more traffic lights in Warrington and make it even more gridlocked. Planners are just looking at one area at a time and not at the bigger picture.
15+ years of planning consents etc and everything will be out of date well before then.
Why not put more traffic lights in Warrington and make it even more gridlocked. Planners are just looking at one area at a time and not at the bigger picture. 15+ years of planning consents etc and everything will be out of date well before then. Jimmcbride
  • Score: 0

1:42pm Thu 4 Sep 14

Jimmcbride says...

Why not put more traffic lights in Warrington and make it even more gridlocked. Planners are just looking at one area at a time and not at the bigger picture.
15+ years of planning consents etc and everything will be out of date well before then.
Why not put more traffic lights in Warrington and make it even more gridlocked. Planners are just looking at one area at a time and not at the bigger picture. 15+ years of planning consents etc and everything will be out of date well before then. Jimmcbride
  • Score: -2

3:49pm Thu 4 Sep 14

Benjamin Behr says...

Tell me about traffic lights! I used to cycle 6 miles from town to Daresbury and encountered 8 sets of lights. Now I cycle to Speke and encounter 24 sets of lights in 15 miles. Back to this story however, then with the makers of the new Runcorn bridge saying that Halton residents won't have to pay but we Warringtonians will, then why not let us say that when this new bridge of ours is built then Halton residents should be charged to cross all of our bridges while we cross over them for free? I imagine that the M6 bridge over the Thelwall viaduct may be classed as a national road, but technically that's in our patch too.
Tell me about traffic lights! I used to cycle 6 miles from town to Daresbury and encountered 8 sets of lights. Now I cycle to Speke and encounter 24 sets of lights in 15 miles. Back to this story however, then with the makers of the new Runcorn bridge saying that Halton residents won't have to pay but we Warringtonians will, then why not let us say that when this new bridge of ours is built then Halton residents should be charged to cross all of our bridges while we cross over them for free? I imagine that the M6 bridge over the Thelwall viaduct may be classed as a national road, but technically that's in our patch too. Benjamin Behr
  • Score: 8

7:40pm Thu 4 Sep 14

whatsgoingon1 says...

Reader wrote:
How come only the Warrington Guardian are allowed to see the visionary plans but we aren't ? Sounds good though but it would be even better if we could all bee an image of the plans to fully understand.
Now that seems a good idea that we can all see the plan, laid out so that we could perhaps comment on it. Oh! maybe "they" have not actually drawn the plan.
[quote][p][bold]Reader[/bold] wrote: How come only the Warrington Guardian are allowed to see the visionary plans but we aren't ? Sounds good though but it would be even better if we could all bee an image of the plans to fully understand.[/p][/quote]Now that seems a good idea that we can all see the plan, laid out so that we could perhaps comment on it. Oh! maybe "they" have not actually drawn the plan. whatsgoingon1
  • Score: 0

3:34pm Mon 8 Sep 14

SAC_in_Warrington says...

The council dreaming again, is there an election in the offing?

Oh so there is, and sceptics will witness further such evidence of party political propaganda from now until we go to the ballot box.
The council dreaming again, is there an election in the offing? Oh so there is, and sceptics will witness further such evidence of party political propaganda from now until we go to the ballot box. SAC_in_Warrington
  • Score: 1
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