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Timely reminder over Warrington’s fragile road network


THE emergency repairs required to Thelwall Viaduct proved to be a timely reminder on just how fragile the local highway network is – as if we needed a reminder!

Over the next 20 years Warrington Borough Council is currently consulting on proposals to build an extra 20,000 homes in the borough as part of the Local Plan. Based on most homes having at least two cars, if not more, this could bring at least an extra 40,000 cars on to our roads, which are already at breaking point.

Yes there are new bridges coming, which we are told will be the cavalry over the hill but I fear the new toll bridge, which has no free concessions for local users, will add to our problems, not resolve them – and we will not fully understand the benefits of the new crossing off Chester Road, until it is actually up and running.

Highway “improvements” which have been carried out over recent years have hardly helped the situation.

With the motorways getting busier and busier, problems are only get worse and I dread to think what the roads of Warrington will be like by 2037.

One thing I know for sure is if we have many more incidents like the one created by Thelwall Viaduct recently, any business looking to invest in Warrington will be having serious second thoughts.

In all my years living and working in Warrington, the gridlock created by the emergency repairs, is amongst the worst I have ever encountered in the town – and must have had a major impact on the local economy through lost business.

Many people could not make appointments and some businesses could not even open as no one could get to work to open up!

Warrington is often championed as a great place to live and work because of our location – but as the recent gridlock showed– it can also be one of the most frustrating places to be located.

I don’t know what the answers are – but building thousands of new homes BEFORE we have the necessary infrastructure to cope, is not one of them!

In the South of the Borough many of these new homes are earmarked for some of our most beautiful green spaces.

While some of them have been earmarked for development for many years, dating back to the days of the Warrington New Town, I can’t help but think the South is being earmarked for more than its fair share of new homes on green belt land.

I am pleased to see our local MP Faisal Rashid and local councillors raising these concerns and we must all work together to ensure we get a fair deal here in the South.


About Author

Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.


  1. The problem of traffic flow is across Warrington (North and South) like most other places is that there are too many cars especially per household. We could implement cameras at all of the Welcome to Warrington home of the Wolves signs and charge non residents the privilege of driving into the Town. Or as a prospective city do what Athens do and have alternate days of odds and even registration plates to use the roads. Encourage car sharing and use of transport, OK it’s not ideal and you have to change your travel plans but it can be done. I got rid of my car 10 years ago and still carried on getting to work – it just took a lot longer – you have to plan your journey in advance and leave on time to get connections provided that the trains and busses are on time and you have the right change lots of it on our busses!

  2. Personally Gary, I think our local MP Faisal Rashid has been disappointingly inactive. As for local councillors, – their attempts to mislead the public are nothing but disgraceful!

  3. I’m Currently enjoying the delights of the Majorcan summer where the sun never sets and the beer is cold and cheap…. as are the local buses. A couple of euros for a journey that in Warrington would cost three or four times the price… mind you, the bus operators here don’t seem to be obsessed with spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on eco buses which then price everyone out of using them

  4. Who says we need 10000 homes in S Warrington? Who did the projections? Who are the people that will live there? Think of the rubbish infrastructure that’ll have to be built to service all this – decimating what’s left of the urban and rural green spaces. This consultation is being pushed through under the radar. How many Latchfird residents know that Latchford railway embankment is earmarked for a highway & housing? Blighting hundreds of residents and destroying wildlife habitat and excellent potential green link to town centre.

    • There’s no doubting Warrington like most places in England is in need of more housing. But this council’s calculations have been based on Warrington becoming a city. A fact evident in many statements of the Local Plan and its objectives. No wonder there is a wide gulf between the expectations of electors and elected. There is also a gulf in terms of the number of houses our town (not city) requires and the mix of affordable, social and developer preferred houses. Neither the council nor many individual councillors are being straight with the public in the discussions of the Local Plan. Many councillors will have divided loyalties in this debate since the council is determined to turn our town into a city and party loyalty could well become a greater pressure than serving the people they purport to represent.

      • It’s got nothing to do with becoming a city. It’s to do with housing need based on population forecasts from a specific point in time. The figures being used for population estimates are projecting masses of people coming to the town over the coming years. It’s the same at all councils at the minute. The Tory government want it to look like the country is building and getting free from recession by forcing statistics on local councils that encourage the house building market by saying everywhere needs more. The misinformation going round in the form of flyers posted to residents (in grappenhall where I live) telling them they’ll be losing their houses for a potential new road (might never happen)and Facebook posts about this local plan is frankly more disturbing than the plan itself. It shows how much some of the residents in this town care about their neighbours (i.e. Very little)

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