When will the trial start and how long will it last for?
The trial is currently scheduled to begin in May 2022. This will be for a minimum of six months, up to a maximum of 18 months.
Where can I see the plans for my neighbourhood?
Plans are currently under going a technical review, including Road Safety Audit, before being confirmed. This website will be updated as soon as they are ready to view.
All residents and businesses within the affected area(s) will be notified of the final plans by letter, at least one month prior to implementation.
How were Orford & Westy selected?
Previous local feedback through the ‘Central 6 Regeneration Masterplan’ raised concerns around road safety, air pollution and the quality of streets within these areas.
These areas were subsequently put forward as suggested pilot project areas as part of the funding bid to the Department for Transport for this project. At the beginning of this project, a comparison exercise was undertaken across all neighbourhoods in the Central 6 area, which compared conditions against several different criteria. This validated the selection of both Orford and Westy.
This initial set of interventions does not rule out investment in other areas in the future – we expect these pilot projects will develop into a programme of similar measures attracting further investment from government to support the transformation of local communities.
Will I still be able to access my house by car?
Yes. All properties (including homes, businesses and community sites) will still have vehicle access, but routes may be slightly longer and less direct than at present. In some cases, people may need to adjust their usual routes. We anticipate that, in the vast majority of cases, changes to car journey times will be small.
People will be supported to find new routes. Route planning and mapping companies (including satellite navigation providers) will be provided with updated information on road closures and diversions.
Will the Emergency Services be affected?
Emergency services have generally been very positive about schemes like this. They typically see no change in response times, with most common concerns raised being placement of lockable bollards for access during extended incidents, and their GPS systems being updated appropriately.
The Emergency Services are statutory consultees and will be engaged throughout the process to ensure that the schemes provide a suitable level of access to all areas.
How will it be paid for?
Warrington Borough Council was awarded funding from the Department for Transport, through the Government’s Active Travel Fund. Within this, approx. £100,000 has been allocated for delivery of local access improvements within the Central 6 area, with Orford and Westy initially identified as focus areas. The Active Travel Fund grant must be spent in 2022.
Where will the traffic go?
There is sometimes concern that ‘Low Traffic Neighbourhoods’ will increase congestion and therefore pollution on surrounding roads. However, evidence from similar schemes elsewhere suggests this not to be the case.
In the short term, we do expect main roads to be busier than usual - but roads such as A49 Winwick Road (Orford) and A50 Kingsway S (Westy) are the appropriate routes for through-traffic and are intended for use by higher volumes of traffic unlike the adjacent residential streets.
In the medium term, we expect traffic patterns to settle as drivers adjust their routes, timings or change methods of travel. We will closely monitor the situation over the period of the trial, as part of a comprehensive monitoring plan for the project.
Aren’t there other ways of dealing with traffic issues?
The Central 6 Streets Plan is about much more than just traffic. It is about creating more attractive places to live with cleaner air, more welcoming places to walk or cycle, and safer environments for children to play. Where schemes of this nature have been implemented elsewhere in the UK, the results have been generally positive and well received by the people who live in the area.
There is limited scope to keep growing the space available for traffic, such as at key junctions and pinchpoints. We have been trying to do this for the last ~50-years, and it has largely not solved congestion – which is now increasingly being pushed on to residential streets and rat runs. Simply put, many of Warrington’s congestion issues are caused by too many short journeys being made by car. This project will help create the conditions for more short journeys to be made by foot or cycle (where possible) instead.
What will the impact on businesses be?
Similar schemes elsewhere have not reported any significant impact on business. Evidence suggests that business owners tend to significantly over-estimate the proportion of their custom arriving by car, when compared against walking and cycling.
The schemes have been designed to minimise any potential disruption to businesses. All businesses will still be accessible by vehicle, and we anticipate that streets with less traffic will result in more people walking and shopping locally..
Has an Environmental Impact Assessment been undertaken?
Environmental Impact Assessment is not a statutory requirement for a project of this nature. We will however be closely monitoring environmental matters, including changes in air quality, throughout the trial period.
Similar schemes elsewhere have reported significant benefits to the local environment, including net improvements to air quality and noise, and reductions in fly-tipping.
Has an Equalities Impact Assessment been undertaken?
An Equalities Impact Assessment (EqIA) is currently in production to help assess and mitigate any disproportionate impacts for people with Protected Characteristics (as defined by the Equality Act 2010). This includes using information collected to date from the online surveys. The results of the EqIA will be published on the C6 Streets Plan website prior to scheme implementation.
What consultation has been undertaken so far?
An extensive programme of public consultation has already been conducted. This was a two-stage process that included in-person events, online events, and online surveys. All information discussed at these events, and a report of findings, have been provided on the main Central 6 Streets Plan page.
All addresses within the affected areas received two flyer letters notifying the occupier of public consultation events and ways to access the online surveys. This was completed in October and November 2021. Events and surveys were also marketed through the Council’s social media channels.
Will any further consultation be undertaken?
Yes. There will be an on-going opportunity to provide further feedback on the scheme(s) throughout the first six months of implementation. Guidance on how to provide your feedback will be provided on these pages in due course and via a letter drop to all households and properties in the areas.
How will the scheme be monitored?
A comprehensive monitoring plan is current being finalised. This will ensure that all impacts of the scheme are robustly monitored, as far as is practicable. This will enable decisions to be made based upon clear and accurate evidence.
Items that will be monitored include (but are not limited to):
- Traffic levels (both within and outside the LTN).
- Walking & cycling levels.
- Highway journey times and congestion.
- Air quality (both within and outside the LTN).
- Feedback from services such as public transport operators, waste collection, and emergency services.
A full monitoring report will be made public at the conclusion of the trial scheme.
What will happen at the end of the trial?
At the end of the trial period, all of the evidence collected will be presented for consideration by locally elected representatives. Subsequently, a decision will be made through an established democratic process as to whether the scheme will be made permanent or not.