When will the trial start and how long will it last?

A trial began in Westy on 20 June 2022. This will be for a minimum of 6 months, for up to a maximum of eighteen months. A decision will be made in advance of this end date as to whether the scheme is made permanent.

The Orford scheme is presently paused pending further work and engagement with the community

Where can I see the plans for my neighbourhood?

Plans are on the main Central 6 streets plan page.

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.

Can I still 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.

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?

Cheshire Police, North West Ambulance Service, and Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service have all been consulted throughout the development of the LTNs – to ensure that the schemes provide a suitable level of access to all areas. All Emergency Services have confirmed that they have no concerns with the trial Westy LTN, and the previously proposed trial Orford LTN. Emergency Services also received advanced notice of LTN installation dates, to ensure that their GPS systems were up-to-date from the date of installation.

We are aware that Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service attended the Westy area in late June 2022, due to concerns raised by a local resident. Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service have subsequently again confirmed to us that they have no concerns with the trial Westy LTN scheme.

Elsewhere, emergency services have generally been very positive about schemes like this, and typically see no change in response times. Other NHS Trusts have even provided funding for the implementation of LTNs because of their long-term public health benefits.

How will it be paid for?

We have been 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.

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 (EIA) been undertaken?

Environmental impact assessment (EIA) 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 (EqIA) been undertaken?

An Equalities Impact Assessment (EqIA) has been produced for both Orford and Westy to assess and mitigate any potential disproportionate impacts for people with protected characteristics (as defined by the Equality Act 2010). The EqIA process suggests there are considerable net equality benefits to the schemes. 

According to the assessment, the schemes have the potential to increase equality opportunities for several protected characteristic groups that live within the areas.

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 trial period.

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 has been designed to 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 low traffic neighbourhoods).
  • Walking & cycling levels.
  • Highway journey times and congestion.
  • Air quality (both within and outside the low traffic neighbourhoods).
  • 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.