Tuesday, 28 May 2013
The following is taken from Warrington Borough Council's website.
Many thanks to Cllr Peter Hirst for bringing it to our attention.
Published Wednesday, 22nd May 2013
WARRINGTON Borough Council has joined forces with neighbouring councils to establish a powerful new decision-making body to oversee the area’s future investment in transport.
The Cheshire and Warrington Local Transport Body (CWLTB) has the power to invest in schemes that support economic growth and regeneration across the area.
The new body, made up of Cheshire East Council, Cheshire West and Chester Council and Warrington Borough Council, has been given devolved decision-making powers by the Department for Transport.
CWLTB is a publicly-accountable body with a single strategic objective: “To improve transport infrastructure to secure significant connectivity gains in the support of economic growth and prosperity”.
First meeting – public and media welcome
The first meeting will take place on Thursday 23 May at Congleton Town Hall at 3.30pm. Members of the public and press are welcome to attend.
It is estimated that the Cheshire and Warrington area will need over a billion pounds’ worth of investment over the next twenty to thirty years in order to meet the sustainable needs of its communities. Funding for the CWLTB will be drawn from the public and private sectors.
The Department for Transport has already committed £21.8m for the period 2015/16 to 2018/19, the details of which will be officially announced next month. This represents an initial pot of funding with the three councils working together to attract further investment.
Warrington Borough Council’s executive board member for highways, transportation and climate change Cllr Linda Dirir said: “This development will make sure that Warrington Borough Council and its partners are in the best possible position to manage the millions of pounds’ worth of transport investment due to our region during coming years.
“The Cheshire and Warrington Local Transport Board will work closely with the Government, the Highways Agency and Network Rail, to help them to bring forward projects from their own investment programmes that could greatly benefit the area.
“Improved local transport means connecting better, so it’s easier for people to access jobs and leisure opportunities and it’s easier for businesses to communicate. Having a better transport infrastructure will also help give businesses more confidence in investing in the area. It’s all part of making Warrington a better place to live, work and invest, and reinforcing Warrington ’s status as a major driver of growth in the North West .”
One of the main roles of CWLTB will be to create a strategic transport policy and a transport connectivity and infrastructure plan to cover all forms of transport. To achieve its strategic and wider objectives, the CWLTB will also develop an integrated transport investment programme of capital projects for the sub region.
There will be a pooled transport investment fund, and the CWLTB will work with economic development teams to identify other funding sources, including private sector funding contributions and investments.
The new body will have the power to approve schemes, release funding and scrutinise individual schemes for consideration.
Sunday, 12 May 2013
Work continues behind the scenes aimed at bring forward the re-opening of the Middlewich line to passengers
and the building of a new station to serve Middlewich and the surrounding area.
Our MP Fiona Bruce is still working tirelessly on our behalf, and presented the Parliamentary petition calling
for the re-opening of the line and station on the 20th March.
She followed this up by writing to the Rt. Hon. Simon Burns, the Railways Minister, making him aware of
the tremendous support the re-opening scheme has, both among the people of Middlewich and councillors and
officials at town, borough and regional levels.
These representations were backed up by letters making similar points from Cheshire East Council and from
the Middlewich Rail Link Campaign.
Our main concern at the moment is still the perceived reluctance of Network Rail to talk about the scheme.
That organisation’s assertion that ‘the proposals have been looked at and there is not a sufficient business case’
needs to be challenged and corrected.
As far as we are aware NR have not looked into the proposals at all, and their attitude remains that they will
not do so until enough money has been put on the table to enable the scheme to progress through the GRIP
We are heartened by the fact that the Department of Transport has offered to provide advice to Cheshire East
Council, whose responsibility as the local transport authority it is to progress this scheme.
This is something that Cheshire East has stated that it is very keen to do, as the benefits for Middlewich and
the wider area of the re-instatement of this link make it of vital importance for the regeneration of the town
and a considerably wider catchment area.
Our hope is that the Middlewich proposals will be considerably more advanced when the Government decides
to make more money available for schemes such as ours.
Recently Network Rail’s Director of Network Strategy and Planning published consultation documents on the
long-term planning of the network in order to achieve: ‘economic growth, reduced carbon emissions and
improved quality of life for communities and individuals.’
Fiona Bruce immediately identified this as an opportunity to raise the campaign’s profile within Network Rail
and she has written to NR’s Director of Network Strategy and Planning reminding him of the existence of the
Middlewich proposals, which will do all this and more for this area, and asking for his help in getting NR to
look at the plans and talk to Cheshire East about them.
MRLC will also be writing a letter supporting what Fiona Bruce says.
To sum up, we are more confident than ever of the eventual success of our campaign and will continue to do
everything we can, in conjunction with our very enthusiastic local MP and Borough Council, to ensure further
Middlewich Rail Link Campaign