Halton Council has announced that it has submitted a planning application for improvements to the road network around Runcorn Station. If approved it would enhance connectivity between the station and Runcorn town centre, as well as open up exciting new opportunities for developing the area in front of the station.
This has been made possible by the opening of the Mersey Gateway, which celebrates its first birthday on 14 October. The new crossing has provided a unique opportunity to close the Silver Jubilee Bridge for the much needed renovation works and to improve the road network around Runcorn Station.
Admirers of the Silver Jubilee Bridge have been watching intently as high level repairs have gradually moved along the arch of the much-loved structure, since its closure back in October 2017. Underneath, an extensive programme of maintenance has been taking place, including concrete repairs; replacement of cables and a full repaint of the full steel arch.
The bridge will reopen to pedestrians and cyclists in the Summer of 2019.
As part of the makeover, the deck of the Silver Jubilee Bridge is also being reconfigured, reducing the number of lanes from four to two and creating a dedicated lane for cyclists.
An improved road network on the approaches to the Silver Jubilee Bridge will involve removal of some current infrastructure and the creation of a new roundabout that will make it easier for drivers to get to the town centre and to Runcorn Station.
The planning application submitted this week seeks to make additional improvements to the road network that connects Runcorn Station to Runcorn town centre. If approved, the work would improve the visibility of Runcorn town centre and enable exciting opportunities for future developments that could include new leisure facilities, housing and space for businesses. The Council has taken the decision to do these works now, while the Silver Jubilee Bridge is closed to vehicles, to avoid further disruption at a later date.
This work does mean that drivers of vehicles will have to wait a little longer to cross the Silver Jubilee Bridge, with the reconfigured bridge and road network expected to be completed in early 2020.
The improvements are part of a longer term vision to create an impressive ‘gateway’ to Runcorn as part of a new Runcorn Station Quarter.
Commenting on the latest announcements Council Leader, Cllr Rob Polhill said: “The opening of the Mersey Gateway has given us this huge opportunity not just to give the Silver Jubilee Bridge a much needed makeover, but to transform the area in front of Runcorn Station. We want people getting off the train at Runcorn Station to get a brilliant first impression of our town and for there to be new places for local people to live, work or enjoy. Doing this work now means we are in the best position possible to achieve these things moving forward. We know that local people are eager to see the SJB open again, as we are, and we thank them for their continued patience, while we make these important improvements.”
If approved, it is hoped that work on these road improvements could begin as early as spring 2019. The application can be viewed on at www.halton.gov.uk/planning or at any Halton Direct Link.