A MAJOR step towards building a second bridge between Winnington and Barnton has been taken.

Consultants have spent the past year working on a report to explore what options are available for finally taking traffic off Winnington Swing Bridge.

With the work coming to an end, councillors have been given a sneak preview of what could be on the cards for one of Northwich's busiest pinch points.

CWAC, alongside the Cheshire and Warrington local enterprise partnership (LEP), is now looking to secure funding to finally get the project built.

Cllr Bob Cernik, Labour CWAC member for Winnington and Castle, says the options would make the road 'much safer and more sustainable'.

Northwich Guardian:

He said: "There are a few options on the table, but all would result in a new lifting or swinging bridge being constructed alongside the existing Grade II-listed swing bridge.

"Whatever we do, leaving the existing bridge to rot is not an option.”

There are two options that could be built up if Cheshire West and Chester Council can secure funding.

One is for a single lane bridge to run alongside the existing Winnington Bridge, with one-way traffic flowing on each one.

However, this would still require a substantial rebuild to the old Winnington Bridge in order to continue to take heavy traffic.

The second option is a new roadway that would require two bridges to link Runcorn Road with Winnington Lane close to the junction with Solvay Road.

This option would be more expensive, but could mean the existing bridge can be used for walking and cycling.

CWAC and the LEP agreed to spend £150,000 last year on the report to help build up a business case for replacing the bridge.

It follows years of campaigning for a second crossing, including a 4,767-strong petition handed to CWAC in December 2017.

The next stage is to examine the costs and benefits of the remaining options more closely.

This would allow the council to seek funding from the Department for Transport to help cover the new bridge's significant construction costs.

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Labour Cllr Sam Naylor, former Winnington councillor and current member for Witton, added that the council is now 'on the right track' to secure the second crossing.

He insists that with developer contributions from the Winnington Works development and evidence in CWAC's Northwich transport strategy, in addition to the business case being drawn up, the council will be in a good position to secure funding.