Project background

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

The Department for Transport has awarded us funding to develop a business case for the new WWL.

In 2017, a public engagement exercise was conducted on numerous proposed routes for the WWL to help identify the preferred route. Following the feedback received from the public engagement exercise, as well as technical assessments undertaken, the scheme, formerly known as the Red Route, was chosen as the proposed route. All of the routes we consulted on were reviewed in a multi‐criteria appraisal known as INSET, which matches the Department for Transport’s appraisal guidance. This considers factors such as the design, cost, deliverability, equality, environmental impact, and social impact as well as the public engagement response, cost‐benefit analysis undertaken and other factors. This route performed best based on this appraisal process.

In 2019, the Department for Transport informed us that the scheme had been conditionally awarded £142.5 million. The total estimated build cost is £212 million. Our cabinet agreed to accept this offer in 2019. A major scheme business case is now being prepared and will be submitted in late 2022.

Public engagement

Between 11 November 2020 and 23 December 2020, we ran a public engagement event.

Due to covid-19 this was done digitally, by phone and delivered letters. The purpose of this engagement was to update people on the progress in developing the scheme design since appointing our details designers in early 2020. 

Warrington Western Link route engagement drawing - Nov 2020

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Warrington Western Link route engagement drawing - Nov 2020

The feedback we received will be reviewed and the response data used to produce a Statement of Community Involvement for the scheme planning application.

As part of the planning application process there will be a further period for all stakeholders to review the submitted application and provide further comments before a decision is made.

Scheme development
  • 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
  • Statement of Community Involvement / public consultation – late 2020
  • Cabinet approval for securing of statutory powers for the scheme – mid 2021
  • Submission of planning application - late 2021
  • Determination of planning application - early 2022
  • Public Inquiry – potentially during 2021/2022
  • Outcome of Public Inquiry - mid 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
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.

If you want to be kept informed about the progress of this scheme, then subscribe to our mailing list.

To contact us, please email westernlink@warrington.gov.uk

Land and property legal information

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.