LAST Friday I set off from the Peace Centre in Great Sankey at 4pm and arrived at my office in Stockton Heath just over an hour later.
This journey time would have been a bit on the high side had I been walking but I was actually driving. There were issues on the M6 and the town was totally clogged up. It was not just me. Hundreds and thousands of drivers where similarly affected.
The impact of this on the town’s economy is considerable. This is why I am delighted that the Government working with The Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership and Warrington Borough Council has decided to prioritise two new bridges for the south of the town.
My role was to facilitate and lobby the various Governmental bodies involved and I'm delighted that we have been successful.
The first will cross the Mersey on Chester Road and will link up with Slutchers Lane, joining Wilson Patten Street Street near Bank Quay Station. This will effectively bypass Bridge Foot which is currently a source of a great deal of congestion.
It will also enable further businesses to open in Centre Park which is constrained due to the lack of capacity near the blue bridge. This scheme was announced in July and I expect work to start in 2016.
The second will cross the ship canal, west of the existing swing bridge on Chester Road, go through Arpley Meadows (opening up a great deal of currently inaccessible land) and emerge on to Sankey Way having bypassed the entire town centre.
This much more ambitious project will cost around £70 million.
It was announced in the House of Commons last Thursday by Greg Clark the minister responsible for local growth deals.
Work is scheduled to start in 2018. The proposed routes of both bridges is available on my website davidmowat.org.uk/shipcanal.
Warrington is a rapidly growing town, one of the 10 fastest-growing in the UK. These bridges will ensure growth continues and accelerates.