We think it’s important that we answer any questions you have on the scheme, so we’ve listed the most common ones!
Centre Park link FAQs
The new Centre Park link will help reduce traffic congestion and provide alternative routes to improve Warrington's transport network.
The scheme will also help make journey times shorter and more reliable for motorists and public transport users. Drivers travelling between A57 Liverpool Road and A5060 Chester Road will have another route choice which will mean they can avoid Bridgefoot gyratory.
This project is one part of a significant regeneration programme for Warrington outlined in our framework for growth, Warrington Means Business, and the Waterfront area.
The scheme will also unlock areas of land for development bringing jobs, housing and investment to Warrington. This brownfield land is located on the town centre's edge in proximity to the bus interchange and Bank Quay and Warrington Central rail stations.
Besides improved walking and cycling facilities (Chester Road Cycleway- currently in construction), Centre Park Link makes travelling sustainably to/from the Business Park and the Town Centre an attractive option. The scheme also supports the aims of our Local Transport Plan 4 and Local Plan.
The right turn is banned to improve the efficiency of the signalised junction. Traffic wanting to head into the Town Centre from the south can continue to use Chester Road and Bridgefoot gyratory as it does currently.
We acknowledge that the delays exiting Centre Park are a long-standing problem and we've been working on this scheme for many years to improve traffic conditions in the town centre. The new Centre Park Link will redirect some traffic away from Brian Bevan Island and Bridgefoot gyratory, helping to improve access into and out of Centre Park.
We've also investigated opening up the Centre Park bus gate. However, the legal complications relating to ownership and rights of access have not been possible to resolve. These issues involve the ownership
of the existing bus gate and rights of access onto Centre Park, which would be affected by any other access provided. Discussions continue on these issues with more than one party. Meanwhile, we'll continue to monitor traffic congestion at Centre Park Link post opening of Centre Park Link.
At present, Cheshire Cat bus services use the bus gate, which runs between Warrington Town Centre, south Warrington, Altrincham and Northwich. The service links Centre Park Business Park with Warrington Bank Quay and Warrington Bus Interchange/Warrington Central rail station providing a vital link for commuters and aids traffic reduction within the Town Centre.
Opening up the bus gate to additional traffic would introduce delay to bus services using the bus gate. Journey reliability is crucial for any bus service, but particularly for public transport interchange services. This service will play an essential role in the town centre's economic recovery following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions. It will also meet the criteria laid out in our Local Transport Plan 4 - to increase sustainable travel modes. Therefore, for this reason, we're not proposing to open up the bus gate to additional traffic. However, we will continue to monitor its operation.
We're monitoring traffic flows, and speeds are currently with temporary equipment on and in the vicinity of the new link road to establish the scheme's immediate impact. We'll undertake additional monitoring as we anticipate an increase in traffic flows increase following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
We've installed permanent CCTV at either end of Slutchers Lane to monitor the new signalised junctions with Wilson Patten Street and Chester Road. We'll be installing permanent traffic counters on Slutchers Lane, Wilson Patten Street and Gainsborough Road. The one already installed on Chester Road will collect traffic flow and speeds in the vicinity of the new link road.
The purpose of the new Link Road was to reduce traffic volume at Brian Bevan Roundabout and Bridgefoot Gyratory and provide access to land for development. To monitor this scheme's impact, we've created a traffic model to establish the Centre Park Link scheme's effect on volumes of traffic and routing patterns in the area.
The traffic model looks at travel demands across the wider network, and its predictions include several routing changes after the new Centre Park Link is open. As part of the assessment, the traffic model does not forecast any net increase in traffic along Gainsborough Road as a whole, but rather a reduction compared to current levels. We'll continue to monitor traffic to establish traffic movements on and in the vicinity of the new link road, including Gainsborough Road.
We assessed several options for the new bridge's location and format and operation of its junction with Chester Road. We discounted the creation of a direct four-arm signalised junction with Gainsborough Road due to third party land requirements. We also assessed options for the staggered junction arrangement, including the signalisation of the Gainsborough
Road/Chester Road junction. However, due to the overall operational impact on both junctions, we discounted this too. Instead, we chose to retain the existing junction arrangement on Gainsborough Road and signalise the new junction between Chester Road and the Centre Park Link road.
We'll monitor the operation of Chester Road's junctions with the new Link Road and Gainsborough Road following the opening of Centre Park Link. We've installed a camera to monitor junction operation in this location, and the traffic signals are fitted with technology to adjust signal timings as traffic conditions change throughout the day.
We undertook a public consultation in January 2020 to present potential traffic calming options. These included:
- Option A: Monitor and Review - Undertake further traffic surveys in 2021, 6 months post-opening of Centre Park Link, to establish any change in vehicle speeds, volumes and distribution before the implementation of any traffic calming measures. After the monitoring period, a further public consultation would occur to share the monitoring surveys' results and any proposed measures.
- Option B: Permanent Chicanes - Implement chicanes along Gainsborough Road permanently.
- Option C: Temporary Chicanes - Implement chicanes along Gainsborough Road temporarily as in Option B with surveys undertaken to monitor their effectiveness. We'd undertake further public consultation to gain feedback on whether residents would like the permanent traffic-calming measures installed after presenting the results of the monitoring surveys.
- None of the above
- I don't want traffic-calming
Based on the public consultation survey responses, we opted for Option A. This option stated that we'd undertake further traffic surveys for six months after completing the Centre Park Link project. The results would initiate a further public consultation to present these survey results and traffic-calming options based on the evidence collected.
The projected out-turn cost for the scheme is approximately £20 million, with significant external contributions from the following sources:
- Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise partnership - £5.3 million via the Local Growth Fund
- Ministry of Housing Community and Local Government - £3.7 million via the Housing Infrastructure Fund
Outstanding costs have come from council borrowing.
We completed the scheme design and business case in 2018 before the Covid-19 pandemic took effect. The design included traffic modelling, which took a pre-covid base year and forecast traffic levels at future years, based on industry-standard processes relating to background traffic growth and planned developments in the area.
We've been monitoring traffic flows since early 2020 on key routes around the town. During this period, reduction in traffic levels has generally corresponded with local and national covid-19 restrictions. As government begin to ease these restrictions, we'll continue to monitor traffic levels to see if they stabilise. We'll watch the new link as we do with all highway networks. If changes are necessary at any point, we'll make these accordingly.