WARRINGTON Walking Day 2021 will NOT be going ahead.

The town's most famous celebration has been cancelled for a second year in a row due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Church and school leaders have taken the decision following ‘extensive consultations with participating organisations’.

Rev Canon June Steventon, rector of Warrington and chairman of the Walking Day Committee, said: “Cancelling Warrington’s Walking Day this year has been a very disappointing and extremely difficult decision, but after consulting with all of the participating schools and churches we have decided that we will resume the historic annual event in 2022.

“We are very hopeful that the national roadmap out of lockdown continues to be followed so that further restrictions can be eased next month.

“However, given that we cannot be certain about what exact restrictions will be lifted in June, we also therefore cannot plan with certainty for Walking Day this year and so the regrettable decision to cancel the event has been agreed between all parties.

“We are committed to ensuring that next year’s event is bigger and better than ever, and we are very enthusiastic for what I’m sure will be a very poignant Walking Day in 2022.”

Warrington Walking Day has only been cancelled a handful of times during its long history, including during the Second World War.

The Mayor of Warrington Cllr Maureen Creaghan added: “It is a pity that Walking Day is cancelled again this year but I understand the huge amounts of time, resource and planning normally necessary to make it a success.

“In these far from normal times, even with the hope of restrictions continuing to ease and the vaccine programme being rolled out successfully I understand why the decision to postpone this year’s event has been made.

“We support the decision of our church and school colleagues, and I look forward to next year’s event, which I am sure will be extra special.”

Similar events have been cancelled across the borough already.

They include Padgate and Woolston Walking Day and Grappenhall and Thelwall Walking Day.