Warrington town has in the last 10 years experienced significant economic development which has resulted in increased traffic congestion. To help solve this the Department for Transport has provided funding to develop a business case for a potential new road with a high-level bridge across the Manchester Ship Canal, to link the A56 Chester Road in Higher Walton with the A57 Sankey Way in Great Sankey.
The aims of the new link road are :
- To relieve congestion in Warrington town centre
- Improve connection between north and south Warrington
- Unlock key development land
- Support continued growth of Warrington’s economy
- Make Warrington a more attractive place to live
The local authority were initially considering six options to connect the A56 with the A57, with public opinions taken into consideration. A major concern for the public was the impact the link would have on existing houses with a number of properties set to be the subject of compulsory purchase. Each of the 6 proposals would impact differently on houses and industrial units.
After public consultation the Red route option was chosen as the preferred option to put forward to Warrington Borough Council’s Executive Board as the recommended option for the Western Link. This option scored very highly on each of the criteria and was better supported in the consultation. The route will provide more congestion relief longer-term and provide a high-level crossing over the Manchester Ship Canal, to provide better movement and access around the town. If Warrington Borough Council Executive Board agree to progress the scheme this will then be put to the Department for Transport (DFT) in December 2017 in an Outline Business Case and the DFT will decide whether to award funding to the project.
There are currently a number of other local authorities competing for this funding, and it is hoped Warrington Borough Council should find out if they have been successful in securing the funding in Spring 2018. If funding is successful it is anticipated that work would start in the early 2020’s.