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New link bridge could negate need for Western Link says councillor

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A Councillor believes the opening of the new Centre Park Link Bridge last week could negate the need for the controversial Western Link.

Cllr Sharon Harris, who says her views are her own and not that of the Lib Dem group of which she is a member, is challenging Warrington Borough Council to provide clear and transparent costs for the Western Link project which she says will do nothing to help the climate emergency.

Cllr Harris, Borough Councillor for Appleton, Hatton, Stretton and Higher Walton said: “I am delighted to see the Centre Park Link opening and congratulate Warrington Borough Council on the successful completion of the project, especially when working under Covid restrictions. I hope that it will play a major part in reducing the congestion issues in and around Brian Bevan Island and that travel through the town will be much improved.
“I wait with great interest to see the impact it will have on traffic flow through Warrington and believe that, if it is successful, in my view, it will negate the need for the Council to continue pursuing the Western Link. The case for Port Warrington is more tenuous than ever since Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that Port Salford will be part of the Liverpool City Region’s new Freeport. Does this mean that Port Warrington will not happen now? Will this save Moore Nature Reserve?
She added: “The costs ( £220M with £150M from central government) for the Western Link seem low for such a major, technically difficult and challenging engineering project. I question the figures provided. If there is a deficit how will WBC fund it? There must be a greater justification for the cost of building a major road that takes away green spaces. If the long-term aim of WBC is to prioritise sustainable public transport/active travel then this money must be spent on projects that actually do that.
“I challenge WBC to provide clear and transparent costs which include a realistic assessment of potential costs and a cost overrun funding strategy.
“WBC should be reminded that they have declared a climate emergency and yet this project is not predicted to improve air quality significantly. WBC should be following a green travel policy which makes climate emergency/air pollution issues a fundamental priority.

Cllr. Sharon Harris

New bottleneck busting £20m Centre Park Link now open to traffic

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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.

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