In summer 2020, the council - as part of the Covid-19 response – introduced a number of measures to reduce the amount of through traffic and rat running and encourage walking and cycling, while maintaining vehicle access into the town centre.
The measures, funded by the Government’s Active Travel Fund, were introduced on either a temporary or experimental basis.
An initial consultation on the changes took place in December 2020, and, after receiving feedback from the public, some of the active travel measures were kept temporary, to enable ongoing monitoring of their effectiveness, while the following changes were made permanent:
- The introduction of a new bus gate on Scotland Road
- An enhanced pedestrian crossing at Bridgefoot Island
- Measures on Academy Way to restrict vehicle movements between Moulders Lane and Bridge Street and retain access for buses, taxis and bicycles
Now, the council wants to hear the views of residents and business on proposals to make a number of other temporary measures in the town centre permanent. These are:
- No left turn for vehicles at the northern end of Winmarleigh Street, to prevent vehicles from turning left onto Sankey Street and discourage through movements. This measure also includes a new cycle lane northbound to help cyclists travelling towards Sankey Street.
- A ban on vehicles travelling from Barbauld Street onto Wilson Patten Street, with only cycles permitted to undertake this movement. Vehicles can continue to turn left from Wilson Patten Street onto Barbauld Street, but not right travelling from Bridgefoot. This measure is helping to minimise vehicle movement along Barbauld Street and supporting increased pedestrian and cycle movements
- Taking advantage of the reduction in traffic on Academy Way by improving the streetscape in this area and investigating opportunities to provide additional capacity at the loading facilities on Moulders Lane.
Warrington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for highways, transportation and public realm, Cllr Hans Mundry, said: “Our active travel programme is aimed at creating meaningful, quality improvements which focus on shifting the network away from vehicles, to cyclists and pedestrians. It’s about reducing congestion and harmful emissions and making the heart of our town a more attractive, thriving place.
“The measures we have introduced support our vision, through our Local Transport Plan to reduce high car dependency, and also form part of our Central 6 Masterplan, which aims to meet our communities’ desire for increased walking and cycling opportunities in a cleaner, greener, safer environment.”
“We believe the permanent changes we have made so far have had a really positive impact, promoting sustainable travel, improving our walking and cycling network and encouraging residents to make more of their journeys on foot and by bicycle.
“Now, we want to hear from everyone – from residents and businesses, to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians – about our latest proposals to make more of our town centre measures permanent. If you would like to have your say, make sure you get involved in our consultation.”
To make comments and share your views about the proposed town centre schemes, please email email@example.com. The consultation ends on Friday 17th June.
Notes to editors
- In response to feedback to the council’s previous consultation (in December 2020) on the active travel programme, the measures around Bold Street and St Austin’s Lane were simplified and the Bold Street (south) scheme was reverted back to one-way southbound only, as was in place pre-Covid, but with the addition of a northbound contra-flow cycle lane.
- The temporary measures on Sankey Street / Bold Street have recently been improved on an interim basis, using planters and better signage to replace the unattractive plastic barriers. These interim changes are in advance of a more detailed consultation to follow on this specific part of the town centre as part of the First and Last Mile Masterplan
- Further details on each of the measures, including the scope and nature of the initiatives, can be found at warrington.gov.uk/town-centre-active-travel