Western Link plans move forward
The next phase in the delivery of the £212.7m Western Link development has been given the green light.
Warrington Borough Council’s Cabinet has approved the offer for the scheme to be placed into the Department for Transport’s ‘Large Local Major Schemes Programme’.
Confirmation of ‘Programme Entry’ means work can now begin on the pre-construction stage of the major highway scheme.
This will culminate in the submission of the Final Major Transport Scheme Business Case, which is required to secure full approval from the Department for Transport. Gaining full approval will allow the scheme to be constructed, unlocking £142.5m in government funding - with the remaining £70.2m coming from the council.
Warrington Borough Council Leader, Cllr Russ Bowden, said: “The Western Link is a vital part of Warrington’s ongoing growth and prosperity. It will tackle major congestion points, increase network resilience and route choice, and help maintain the borough’s strong economic performance.
“Confirmation of Programme Entry is a hugely important milestone for Western Link. It means we can now press ahead with the range of detailed work required to deliver the scheme. We’ll continue to talk to local people, and listen to their views, as these important plans progress.”
Warrington Borough Council’s Cabinet member for transportation, highways and public realm, Cllr Hans Mundry, said: “Western Link is now entering its next, crucial phase. Our vision remains clear, to relieve congestion in our town centre, improve links between north and south Warrington, and support our ongoing growth.
“There’s a great deal of work ahead, but the extensive work we’ve carried out so far demonstrates our commitment to delivering this project, which is so vital to our plans to make Warrington a more attractive place to live, work and visit.”
You can view details of the Western Link scheme (including plans and visuals) at warrington.gov.uk/westernlink
About Western Link
• Western Link - a new 3.2km length of road, connecting the A56 Chester Road to A57 Sankey Way - aims to reduce congestion and ease traffic flow, particularly in the town centre, by providing an alternative route avoiding the severely congested Bridgefoot and Brian Bevan junctions.
• Warrington’s outline business case – submitted to the government in 2017 - outlined the ambition to ensure there is sufficient transport infrastructure in place to allow Warrington’s growth and economic success to continue.
• The link aims to deliver up to a 30% reduction in congestion around the town centre, cutting journey times through it and helping to improve air quality in already established Air Quality Management Areas.
• It will also provide greater ease for journeys getting in, out and through Warrington by constructing a high-level bridge crossing over the Manchester Ship Canal, which will reduce the impact of ship canal swing bridge openings on Warrington’s highway network, providing additional resilience.
• The project - the most ambitious step in the development of the overall Waterfront programme for Warrington - will support the core elements of the Local Plan, including delivery of residential and employment areas, while complementing other town centre highways, transportation and regeneration projects.