Over the last 10 years, Warrington has experienced significant growth, which has led to increased traffic congestion. 

To help solve this, the Department for Transport (DfT) awarded us funding to develop the business case for a potential new road.

This road would link the A56 Chester Road in Higher Walton with the A57 Sankey Way in Great Sankey.

To help us develop our business case, we carried out public consultation 2017. This raised awareness of the proposals and helped us collect feedback on route options.

The business case

The business case shows how the route will help ease some of the town’s issues with congestion. 

The project team undertook a number of technical assessments to produce an Outline Business Case (OBC). 

The OBC makes the case for the Western Link scheme and provides initial detail on how we intend to deliver the project. 

This includes information on how the decision to recommend the preferred route was reached, plus wider information and evidence to support the need for the project. This wider evidence includes the findings from the two rounds of public consultation. 

Scheme documents

  • Revised red route option – the preferred route option for the Western Link
  • Statement of Community Involvement – a document that details the outcomes and results from the consultation activity we undertook

Approving the scheme

During 2018, the scheme was independently looked at by DfT. It was considered against other major infrastructure schemes across England, as part of their Large Local Majors Fund. In April 2019, we were informed that funding for the scheme had been conditionally given funding of £142.5m, as part of the estimated total build cost of £212m.

On 8 July, Cabinet agreed to accept this offer made by DfT. We are now working on a major scheme business case which will be submitted in late 2022. The Western Link will be one of the largest engineering projects in the North West.

Scheme preparation
  • Surveys and site investigations
  • Detailed design
  • Submission of a major planning application
  • Acquisition of land either by negotiation or through a Highways Compulsory Purchase Order (HCPO).
  • Look at work on statutory undertaker’s diversions and ecological mitigation
  • Engage with the community and residents. We will do this throughout the development and delivery of the scheme, which will require a number of formal consultations.
  • It's anticipated that an inquiry will be required to confirm the planning permission for the scheme, a HCPO and other orders and consents needed to construct the scheme.
  • Complementary junction improvements – the Outline Business Case demonstrated that we will need to bring forward a series of off-site highway improvements. These are needed because a number of junctions, primarily to the northern end of the scheme, have been shown to operate beyond capacity at the point that the new link was to open. These will need to be delivered in advance of the main scheme opening. Funding for these was budgeted for, within the outline business case submission, at a value of £5m and was included as part of Cabinet approval.
  • Due to the impact of this scheme there's potential for a loss of sports pitches at Morley Common. However, when officers engaged with Sport England during the previous phase of development, they stated that new and improved facilities must in place prior to any loss. This could be in the form of new or enhanced existing facilities elsewhere in the borough, but no definitive location has been confirmed. A budget to replace any lost sports and play facilities was underwritten by Cabinet.
Key milestones
  • Procure specialist external consultants and contractors to support the project – to be concluded by late 2019
  • Statement of Community Involvement / public consultation – mid 2020
  • Cabinet approval for securing of statutory powers for the scheme – late 2020
  • Submission of planning application - Autumn 2020
  • Determination of planning application - Early 2021
  • Public Inquiry – potentially during 2021
  • Outcome of Public Inquiry - early 2022
  • Completion of Full Business Case / Securing of Full Approval - late 2022
  • Start of scheme construction - early 2023
  • Completion of scheme construction - early 2026
  • Project close out and evaluation - mid 2026 to mid-2027

Over the course of the next six to nine months you may notice various surveys being undertaken in the areas affected by the preferred route alignment. We are doing these to inform the detail design.

If you want to know more, email the team on westerlink@warrington.gov.uk or subscribe to our mailing list.

The legal stuff

Statutory blight

The Western Link scheme may give rise to statutory blight. Statutory blight is when the value of your property is reduced because of large scale, or major, public works.

Statutory blight is complex and we could recommend that if you think you may have a claim for it, to seek independent professional advice from a specialist surveyor.

A statutory blight notice must be sent to our appointed solicitors, TLT LLP, by emailing westernlink@tltsolicitors.com or by posting to:

Warrington Western Link
c/o Debbie Reynolds
TLT LLP
3 Hardman Square
Manchester
M3 3EB

Part 1 claims

When the Western Link is being delivered, you might suffer some damage or detriment to your property based on direct physical impact. This could include noise, vibration, smell, fumes, smoke, artificial lighting or discharge onto your property. 

If this is deemed to reduce your value by more than £50 you may be able to make a claim under Part 1 of the Land and Compensation Act 1973. 

You can make a claim yourself or ask someone to do this for you. Anyone can act for you but most people prefer to use a professional property value or an agent that specialises in Part 1 claims.

Find out more about compensation when a road affects your property’s value on the gov.uk website.