A new Burtonwood to Omega cycleway – named in memory of former Warrington Borough Council leader Cllr Terry O’Neill – has been officially opened.
Honouring the former council leader, who passed away in 2019, ‘Terry O’Neill Way’ is a 1.5km cycleway, with a brand new tarmac path, running between Hayley Road South in Burtonwood village and J8 of the M62.
Its formal status is a cycle track, with a right of way on foot for shared use by pedestrians, cyclists and people with disabilities. It will improve access to and from the Omega employment site as well as the Gemini retail park.
Terry O’Neill’s wife, Cath and family joined the Mayor of Warrington, Cllr Maureen Creaghan, Charlotte Nichols MP, Council Leader, Cllr Russ Bowden and Deputy Council Leader, Cllr Cathy Mitchell for the official opening ceremony of the cycleway and the unveiling of the new ‘Terry O’Neill Way’ street sign.
The cycleway consists of a 3.5m wide path with grass verges, new fencing and new lighting along its length. In the south, it links into the existing shared-use path running around the west side of the J8 roundabout and links into the rest of the Warrington shared use network on Skyline Drive, Burtonwood Road and Charon Drive.
The Mayor of Warrington, Cllr Creaghan, said “I was delighted to be part of the official opening of this fantastic new cycleway, which will be a real asset for the local community. It is a wonderful way to remember Terry O’Neill, and will provide a lasting tribute to the tireless commitment he gave to our borough.”
Warrington Borough Council Deputy Leader, Cllr Cathy Mitchell, said: “Terry was a wonderful servant to our town and to his constituency of Burtonwood and Winwick, and I’m delighted he is being honoured through this new cycleway.
“It’s a fantastic project which will bring huge benefits to cyclists and pedestrians for many years to come, connecting Burtonwood to the wider cycling network in Warrington, improving safety and supporting businesses.”
Cabinet member for highways, transportation and public realm, Cllr Hans Mundry, said: “This new cycleway will make a real difference to local people, promoting safe walking and cycling and providing an important new link on the Warrington Cycling and Walking network.
“It is fitting that the cycleway has officially been named in honour of our former council leader, who dedicated his life to making our entire borough – including his own constituency of Burtonwood and Winwick – a better place for everyone.”
The £1.25 m scheme has been funded by a combination of government money via the Cheshire and Warrington LEP, council borrowing and s.106 funding from Omega Warrington Ltd. The principal contractor for the scheme is George Cox and Sons Ltd.
Terry O’Neill Way forms part of the Omega local highways project, a series of initiatives in west Warrington to provide additional highway capacity, enhance network resilience, and improve cycling and pedestrian facilities.
The scheme itself is a key link within the councils Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) which aims to create a network of safer routes across the town to benefit cyclists and pedestrians.
Philip Cox, chief executive of the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “I am delighted the cycleway has now officially opened and residents can enjoy the benefits it brings. Naming the new route after Terry O’Neill is a wonderful way to commemorate his service to the local community.
“This is one of eight sustainable transport schemes that have been supported through the Local Growth Fund, creating 25km of new or improved walking and cycle routes, giving people a viable, safe and healthy alternative to car use in Cheshire and Warrington.
“As well as helping residents to travel sustainably this scheme is helping us to achieve our net zero goals as we build a greener and more inclusive economy benefitting both local people and businesses.”
If you would like more information on the Omega Local Highways project, please contact the team at WWH@warrington.gov.uk