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New experimental measures are being put in place in two inner town wards, aimed at reducing traffic and improving conditions for pedestrians and cyclists.
Warrington Borough Council is launching its Central 6 Streets Plan on Monday 20 June. It will see the implementation of a ‘Low Traffic Neighbourhood Trial’, initially focusing on two neighbourhoods - Orford (within Fairfield & Howley and Orford wards) and Westy (within Latchford East ward).
The new measures respond to previous local feedback through the Central 6 Regeneration Masterplan, which raised concerns around traffic levels, road safety, air pollution and the quality of streets within these areas.
Low Traffic Neighbourhoods work by closing off an area to through vehicular traffic so that people can drive to and from it but cannot drive through it. This stops drivers using residential roads as shortcuts (‘rat running’) and makes it safer and easier to walk and cycle.
Through the trial, the council aims to reduce rat-running in the Orford and Westy neighbourhoods, through a series of road closures, using temporary wooden planters as modal filters. These allow walkers and cyclists to pass through, but stop all motorised traffic at each point.
An additional measure will also be put in place in place in Orford, with the introduction a new bus gate on Hallfields Road, south of Withers Ave. It will allow buses and taxis only to drive through and cyclists to cycle through while private vehicles will need to re-route.
The bus gate, which will be enforced by Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras, aims to benefit Hallfields Road and other streets in the area by making the roads quieter and safer for residents, pedestrians and cyclists.
The Orford and Westy Low Traffic Neighbourhood schemes will be implemented on a temporary basis using an Experimental Traffic Order (ETO) and will run for a maximum of 18 months. During the trial period, data will be collected, which alongside feedback from the local community, will be used to monitor the impact and identify issues.
Warrington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for transportation, highways and public realm, Cllr Hans Mundry, said: “This is a really important project, which supports our plans to make the streets in our Central 6 wards cleaner and greener for everyone.
“Through this trial, we can take big steps forward in cutting down on the number of cars moving through residential streets in Orford and Westy, reducing air and noise pollution, and transforming the environment into one which is much more pleasant, inclusive and safe for people to walk and cycle.
“Of course, the introduction of these measures means there is likely to be an initial period of some disruption, due to the changes in routing and travel habits across the neighbourhoods. However, once traffic patterns settle down, we are looking forward to seeing huge environmental benefits for the local community.”
Funding for the Central 6 Streets Plan has been awarded through the Government’s Active Travel Fund programme. The project aims to improve the local area and environment through improvements to local streets:
Notes to editors