New council reports show Warrington is making real progress in transforming how people travel, delivering major highways schemes, and making the borough more cyclist and pedestrian friendly.
In 2019, Warrington Borough Council set out the ambition in its Local Transport Plan (LTP4), to make Warrington ‘a thriving, attractive, accessible, and well-connected place with popular, high-quality walking, cycling and public transport networks supporting our carbon-neutral future.’
The council has now published three new reports showing the progress being made in delivering against this ambitious vision and highlighting some of the key transport achievements in Warrington in recent years.
The council’s Enabling Active Travel in Warrington report highlights the work that has been done in the past four years to provide safe routes and pleasant places which enable local people to walk and cycle more often.
Since 2019, the council been successful in attracting over £5m in new funding for active travel projects, delivering them through its Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP).
There are now new cycle routes in Great Sankey, and between Omega and Burtonwood. Meanwhile, the Trans Pennine Trail has seen significant investment, and many miles of paths in Sankey Valley, Woolston Park, and Victoria Park have been upgraded and widened.
The council has also improved accessibility, by removing many A frame access barriers which have prevented older people and people in wheelchairs and mobility scooters from accessing our open spaces.
Most recently, the council has delivered an innovative ‘Cyclops’ junction in Bewsey using funding from the government’s Active Travel Fund programme. The junction allows segregated and safer journeys for people wheeling, walking and cycling, without any impact on traffic.
The council’s Transport Improvements & Highways Maintenance report highlights the council’s success in securing £250m of transport grant funding over the past 10 years. For every £1 the council has invested in major transport improvements, another £2 of investment has been brought in from government and other sources.
This investment has allowed the council to drive forward with a range of major projects which have transformed transport in Warrington in the past decade, including Warrington West Station and Centre Park Link.
There have been many more minor schemes delivered, including those delivered via £35m of Local Transport Plan grant funding for themes such as active travel, network management, public transport and road safety.
Alongside the investment in new schemes, the council has also invested heavily in the maintenance of Warrington’s networks since 2016, including:
- £27.5m strategic investment in the maintenance of Warrington’s road network (A, B and C roads)
- £10m invested in side streets and unclassified roads improvement.
- £2.5m invested in Warrington’s footway improvement programme, with 206 footway schemes delivered.
- £1.20m secured from the DfT Pothole Action Fund authority to carryout additional preventative pothole maintenance,
- £5.50m used to deliver 49 bridges and structures improvements since 2015/16.
- £2.15m spent on the delivery of 30 projects to help mitigate flooding.
Warrington’s Local Transport Plan (LTP4) Progress Review highlights how this ongoing investment is helping the council deliver against its ambitions to transform transport in Warrington, reduce car dependency, deliver high quality public transport, and provide new options for people to walk and cycle.
Further key successes highlighted in the LTP4 report are:
- Warrington’s ‘Better By Bus’ campaign, which is making a range of improvements to bus services, including enhanced timetables fares capped at £2 for adults and £1 for children, all-day-use for concessionary passes and improved bus shelters across the whole network. These improvements have helped boost bus passenger figures by 10% in Warrington in the past year.
- The ZEBRA project, which is ushering in a new era for bus travel in Warrington, with Warrington’s Own Buses’ entire fleet of diesel buses replaced with 105 new electric buses, giving Warrington one of the largest all-electric bus fleets in the country. It will help to decarbonise Warrington’s transport system, improve air quality and provide more environmentally friendly, modern and attractive bus services for local people.
- Work, through the First and Last Mile Masterplan and Town Centre Travel Plan, to improve transport accessibility into, out of and within the town and centre provide a range of transport options for town centre residents so they don’t need to own a car.
- Investment in cleaner vehicles on Warrington’s roads through a transformational electric bus project, and the roll out of electric charging facilities in Warrington’s communities and the delivery of almost 70 free EV charging points at Time Square car park and Warrington West station.
Warrington Borough Council Leader, Cllr Hans Mundry, said: “I’m pleased to see the fantastic progress that is being made in our work to transform transport in Warrington. We have enjoyed a large number of success stories in recent years, and delivered some really innovative projects to enhance and maintain our network, improve walking and cycling facilities and drive up the quality of public transport.
“Our monitoring data shows these improvements are making a real difference, with more Warrington residents walking, cycling and using public transport which can only have a positive impact on people’s health, on their wellbeing, and on the environment.
“This work will continue in the future, and we’ll be working hard to secure every penny of available funding so we can continue to deliver transformational transport schemes which provide real, lasting economic, environmental, and quality of life benefits for everyone who lives and works here.”