A FLYOVER and new crossing over the Mersey form part of a revised £195 million masterplan to tackle Warrington's congestion nightmare.

Last Thursday, transport chiefs at the council announced that the 'red' Western Link route is the best option to improve connectivity for motorists and unlock key development land following a four-week consultation.

The scheme, which would link the A56 Chester Road with the A57 Sankey Way in Great Sankey, was planned to cost £145 million but the figure has increased to £195 million.

However, in response to the feedback, there has been a redesign of the bypass, which will now impact on fewer properties than initially expected.

The authority confirmed it will demolish eight properties – four occupied and four unoccupied.

The Sloop Inn, on Old Liverpool Road, six properties on the Solvay site, on Baronet Road, and a house, on Chester Road, would be demolished.

Council chief executive Steven Broomhead said the red route is being recommended because ‘this option best matches the stated aims of the project’.

The scheme would provide a new high-level crossing over the Manchester Ship Canal to help 'reduce inconvenience caused' by the existing swing bridges.

Any new link road would also need to travel over the Mersey and the West Coast Main Line.

The revised route includes a signalised junction with a flyover to replace the previously proposed roundabout on Sankey Way, along with a new piece of infrastructure over the Mersey.

Both factors have contributed to the projected £50 million cost increase of the scheme, along with 'issues' with moving electricity pylons.

Warrington Guardian:

The proposed highway is the subject of a further round of public consultation, which runs until October 2.

If it is approved by the council's executive board on November 13, the business case will be presented to the Department for Transport in December.

And a council source has told the Warrington Guardian there is a 70 per cent likelihood of the project getting the green light from the Government.

If the bid is successful, it is expected that construction could begin on the road in the early 2020s.

Concerns remain over vehicles using the bypass to avoid tolls on the Mersey Gateway Bridge.

But the council has confirmed it will be 'monitoring and comparing' traffic flows in the town 'to help determine the scale of diverting traffic' once the tolled site opens.

On Friday night residents attended a meeting, which was organised by Communities United Against the Warrington Western Link, at Eagle Sports Club to highlight their fears and identify a strategy going forward.

A group spokesman said – apart from the proposals to demolish properties – the 'primary concerns' raised included fears over increased congestion, additional pollution and a new proposed access to Hood Lane from Sankey Way.

He added: "The possible hazards to the safety of school children having to cross another busy road to get to St Gregory's School was also raised, as was access difficulties for pedestrians attending the Peace Centre, David Lloyd fitness centre and Crosfields recreation ground, which hosts numerous junior, and senior, sports teams."

Consultation events are being held at St Werburgh's Community Centre, on Boswell Avenue, from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, at the Peace Centre, on Peace Drive, from 10am to 5pm on Sunday and at Golden Square Shopping Centre, on Sankey Street, from 9am to 5pm on Monday.

Residents and businesses can view the proposals and comment online at warrington.gov.uk/westernlink.

For more information about the campaign group visit the Communities United Against the Warrington Western Link Facebook page.