Warrington Borough Council is to introduce traffic calming measures on Hallfields Road, along with new proposals for a Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) in Orford.

The council is proceeding with a previously consulted upon traffic calming scheme to address long standing concerns over the impact of traffic on Hallfields Road.

It follows detailed consultation with local residents in recent years, and includes the installation of three speed humps, along with a speed limit reduction from 30mph to 20mph. All Hallfields Road residents are receiving letters detailing the traffic calming proposals.

The new traffic calming measures on this route come alongside proposals for a smaller LTN in Orford. The council initially announced plans, in the summer, to introduce an LTN in Orford, to help reduce traffic and improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists.

The original plans included a series of road closures, using temporary wooden planters as modal filters, and the introduction a new bus gate on Hallfields Road, south of Withers Ave, allowing access for buses, taxis and bicycles only.

However, following significant public concern raised around this scheme, the council took the decision not to proceed with the original plans and to develop a revised scheme.

This new scheme has now been designed, with proposals for a smaller LTN in the Smith Drive Area of Orford. The proposed interventions for the ‘Smith Drive Area Experimental LTN’ are:

  • Modal filter (planters) on Hallows Avenue - east of Lyndale Avenue junction
  • Modal filter (planters) on Withers Avenue - east of Halsall Avenue junction
  • Bus Gate on Smith Drive – at the junction of Stapleton Avenue and Smith Drive

Residents living on the west side of the proposed modal filters would be able to access/exit the neighbourhood via Hallfields Road while residents living on the east side of the filters would be able to access/exit the neighbourhood via the A50 Orford Road.

The existing ‘access only’ restrictions across the Smith Drive area have been in place since 1987 which mean that it is illegal for general traffic to travel through the area. These types of restrictions can only be enforced by the police. Due to the pressure on police resources, enforcement is rarely a priority and the traffic restrictions have not been enforced consistently throughout the years.

Recent survey results show that:

  • 71% of daily vehicular trips on Hallows Avenue and Smith Drive, and 79% of trips on Withers Avenue, are due to through traffic.
  • This accounts for over 2,600 vehicles running daily along Smith Drive and about 1,350 vehicles on Withers Avenue.

These through traffic trips are already committing an offence by using this area as a short cut.

Implementing the Smith Drive LTN scheme would remove this through traffic from the neighbourhood. This is intended to improve conditions for those living, walking and cycling within the area, with reduced traffic noise, better air quality and improved road safety.

The Bus Gate restriction on Smith Drive would be enforced by an ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) camera installed on the street. This would allow buses, taxis, emergency vehicles, and cyclists to pass through while private vehicles would need to re-route.

The council is now seeking people’s views on the newly proposed Smith Drive LTN scheme, which replaces the previous Orford LTN proposals. A feedback survey, to collect people’s comments, will be open for over four weeks, from tomorrow, Thursday 17 November until Friday 16 December 2022 (5pm).

Warrington Borough Council’s cabinet member for transportation, highways and public realm, Cllr Hans Mundry, said: “We remain committed, as part of our Central 6 Regeneration Masterplan, to making our air cleaner and making our streets quieter and safer for residents, pedestrians and cyclists. We can only achieve this by proposing interventions which reduce traffic levels.

“As with all of our LTN plans so far, we also remain committed to listening to the views of local people and addressing their concerns about the proposals we are putting forward. These revised plans for the Orford LTN are a reflection of this, providing an alternative option that will still bring positive outcomes for local residents and neighbourhoods, while taking on board the feedback we have received so far.

“Please let us know your views on our plans by completing the survey. We will collect and examine the feedback we receive to gauge the level of support for the new proposals - and we will fully consider all views shared before we decide whether to proceed with the trial scheme or not.”

Further details of the traffic calming and 20mph proposals for Hallfields Road can be viewed online at warrington.gov.uk/permanent-traffic-regulation-orders or in person at Contact Warrington, 1 Time Square, WA1 2NT between 9am & 5pm, Monday

For more information about the new Smith Drive Area Experimental LTN, and to take part in the survey, please visit warrington.gov.uk/central-6-streets-plan from tomorrow, 17 November

Paper copies of the survey will also available at Orford Jubilee Neighbourhood Hub, Jubilee Way, Orford, (Monday to Friday, 6am to 10pm) from 17 November, or by emailing eatf@warrington.gov.uk, or writing to FREEPOST WBC TFW.

Notes to editors

  • Central 6 refers to the six inner wards closest to the town centre - Orford; Poplars and Hulme; Fairfield and Howley; Latchford East; Latchford West; and Bewsey and Whitecross.
  • Warrington Borough Council has been awarded funding through the Government’s Active Travel Fund programme to trial Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTN) within the Orford and Westy areas. The council is looking to use this funding to build on the Central 6 Regeneration Masterplan work and consultations undertaken in the last few years – where public feedback identified a ‘better, cleaner and safer environment’ as the top priority.