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.