Labour ignore pleas to pause Westy traffic scheme as protesters say “party politics” overshadow common sense

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UPDATED: PROTESTERS and opposition Tories failed in their bid to get the controversial Central 6 traffic scheme for Westy paused at a meeting of the Full Council on Monday evening.

With many delayed or unable to get to the protest due to a Police incident on Kingsway Bridge, which caused gridlock in the local area as traffic was diverted down Grange Avenue, a Tory motion to pause the scheme, supported by Lib Dems was defeated by the controlling Labour group.

Those who are opposing the controversial low traffic schemes being introduced by Warrington Borough Council’s highway planners with Government funding to make streets safer and reduce pollution, performed a re-run of last week’s protest when the council agreed to pause proposals at Orford.

Over the weekend council leader Cllr Russ Bowden, visited Westy to meet some of those concerned by the proposals and while saying he would take on board concerns, he stopped short of agreeing to a similar pause, with the Westy scheme being a much smaller project, aimed at making streets safer and reducing pollution.

But angry residents claim the proposals will make traffic problems worse.

After the meeting, Westy resident Jayne Savage, who helped organise the protest said: “Unfortunately, party politics overshadowed common sense, and we the residents of the whole of Warrington have failed to be heard. However this is not the end of the story, and we will re-group and come back.
“Personally, I have been too busy to dwell on the issues it will cause, only being able to use the busy main road to access and leave my home of eight years, adding journey time, stress and cost to my trips to work. Leaving early to avoid traffic and stand a chance of getting over the swing bridge, will mean less time at home with family and that is not the reason I live and work in a 5-mile radius (no buses).
“I will keep going, and they will eventually see that there are so many other avenues to ensure that the roads are safer and residential roads greener. Ask the right questions for a start!”

Meanwhile, Rachael Harper, who organised last week’s campaign opposing proposals for Orford said: “Obviously we are beyond disappointed with the voting tonight. Things like this just show why party politics are a major issue. Westy deserves the same consideration that was given to Orford in terms of a delay and more public engagement. As a campaign group, we will continue to hold the council to account and keep the pressure on until every Warringtonian is heard and respected on it. This whole thing just shows how most councillors are out of touch with those who voted them in and I’m sure people will remember this come next local elections; we’ll make sure they do.”

It remains unclear when the proposals will come into force as they had been due to go live today – but planters and other street furniture had still not been put in place.

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Protesters outside the Parr Hall – Picture Matt Dempsey

Tories call for council u-turn on Central 6 traffic plan for Westy


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6 Comments

  1. These incidents go to show that the road closures would be madness anywhere in Warrington. Come on Bowden and mob, open your eyes and smell the coffee

  2. Council have not involved the 3main services police fire ambulance they said it could have a drastic effect and someone dieing before they got their because of time lost every minute counts to save a life

  3. If pollution is the major concern, then why haven’t they been monitoring the air quality in the area before the changes took place (the closures are in place now!). They’ve only just put nitrogen dioxide monitors in at 3 locations along Grange Ave & Kingsway, and the only locations they’ve monitored previously (2019) in Latchford village don’t have monitors this time round. There will be not data to prove this whether this scheme has worked or not.

    Grange Ave IS a through route, but hardly a rat-run as it has a 20mph speed limit with large speed humps that make sure you keep to the limit. Closure of this road and the access to the surrounding roads will have the effect of making the quieter side roads busier and more dangerous – and these were the roads where kids could play on before because they WERE quiet, as most of the traffic went along Grange Ave.

    These plans were poorly thought out, with little consultation and will have no data to prove whether they were successful when the ‘trial’ finishes

  4. Pingback: Confusion and chaos on first day of Westy low traffic scheme

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