The executive board of Warrington Council has approved a town centre public realm project and a road improvement scheme to support the ongoing highway works at junction 8 of the M62, the key junction for the Omega distribution hub and Lingley Mere.
The junction-widening project is to cost £2.99m, with 70% of its cost to be covered by the National Productivity Investment Fund, following a successful bid in July for support. The council will fund the remainder by reallocating funds from its Integrated Transport Block funding pot.
Balfour Beatty is to deliver the scheme, with work expected to start on site in February 2018 and reach completion in the summer – the intention is that workers will move from one project to the other.
As part of the public consultation for M62 junction 8 improvements scheme, concerns had been raised public that the restricted capacity of the Kingswood Road junction would limit the benefits of those improvements. WSP was commissioned to review the feasibility of potential improvements at the Burtonwood Road/Kingswood Road junction, reporting clear operational benefits in delivering improvements, with a 9.65 benefit-to-cost ratio.
The project is to support the building of more than 1,100 homes at Omega and Lingley Mere, along with further job growth at Omega.
The executive was also asked to endorse the plans for a £664,000 public realm improvement in Warrington’s cultural quarter. Included in the Town Centre Masterplan, the proposal is for the southern section of Springfield Street between Palmyra Square South and Palmyra Square North to be upgraded to a shared use surface to tie in with an extension to the more attractive public realm scheme in front of the Parr Hall on Palmyra Square South.
The project is to be fully council-funded and will support an emerging bar and restaurant scene, the report said. In time it will link to Muse’s Time Square development by the regeneration of the Cabinet Works, which the council acquired in December 2016.