Back to main website

Leader's Blog - December 2017

As we head toward the end of the year it’s good to see real progress in our town centre developments.

The new 1,160 space, multi-storey car park opened on Saturday, 25 November. In order to boost awareness of the  facility and to help town centre trade parking will be free for the first three hours of parking as long as the drivers validate their tickets at the market. In the next few weeks up to Christmas parking will be free all day on Sundays.

There is an exciting programme of activity taking place at the Market including ‘Foodie Thirstdays’, each Thursday in the run up to Christmas. This will bring street food traders into Time Square to accompany the late night shopping and late night opening taking place for the first time in many years at the Market. The market will also trade on Sundays in the run up  to Christmas and be open on Christmas Eve. Demolition work has commenced on the Cabinet Works being managed and overseen by Warrington & Co. A consultation is under way for Town Centre Businesses regarding the proposal to create a Town Centre Business Improvement District. 

In 2014 Local Transport Authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships across the North of England came together in partnership with the Department for Transport and the National Transport Agencies to form Transport for the North (TfN). Together they have developed an ambitious pan-northern transport strategy to drive economic growth in the North. The purpose of TfN is to transform the transport system of the North of England and the aim of TfN is to plan and deliver the improvements needed to truly connect the region with fast, frequent and reliable transport links, driving economic growth and creating a Northern Powerhouse.

In October 2016 with the agreement of all the Constituent Authorities TfN submitted a proposal to the Secretary of State for Transport that TfN should be established as the first statutory Sub-national Transport Body (STB). Further to this TfN intends to publish its Draft Strategic Transport Plan in mid-January 2018 and this will be subject to a 12-week period of public consultation.

TfN in partnership with its local transport authority members is looking to develop plans for a high speed rail network running across the North of England connecting its largest cities, namely Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Hull, Newcastle and Manchester Airport. With the support of officers I will continue to press the case for a hub station at Warrington Bank Quay to be included in the Northern Powerhouse Rail proposals as part of a major investment in improving rail infrastructure between Liverpool and Manchester Airport / Manchester Piccadilly.

I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year I hope you enjoy the festive season and I look forward to sharing more news with you in the New Year.