A BUS company confirmed it has no plans to revert a route following the reopening of Soot Hill.

The 9A bus service ran by Warrington’s Own Buses was given a new route following the landslip in December 2021.

But this was not without controversy, with Barnton residents claiming the diversion had turned narrow roads such as Elmwood Road and Laurel Close into a 'rat run'.

Despite these concerns and the reopening of Soot Hill in October, the route looks set to stay as it is.

A spokesperson for Warrington’s Own Buses said: “We understand there are some concerns regarding the new route of the 9A service, which has been in effect for more than 20 months, due to the landslip closure at Soot Hill in December 2021.

“The diversion of the 9A service was a necessary measure taken to ensure the continued operation of vital transport links for the residents of Northwich, Barnton, Anderton, and the surrounding areas.

“The safety of our passengers and the community is of utmost importance, and the landslip closure posed a significant threat to the long-term viability of the route.

“Since the diversion was put in place, we've observed a positive development in terms of passenger growth along the revised section of the route.

"This growth has played a key role in helping the service recover significantly when compared to pre-Covid passenger numbers. We are pleased that the revised route has not only sustained essential connections, but also contributed to a more robust and resilient service.”

Northwich Guardian: Damage to Elmwood Road since the Soot Hill closureDamage to Elmwood Road since the Soot Hill closure (Image: Mark Woolley)

Among those to have raised concerns is Barnton resident, Mark Woolley, who fears the new route will lead to an accident.

He said: “How is it that a bus company from more than 10 miles away can decide to run a bus route through a housing estate without any consultation with the residents? It is a frankly outrageous abuse of common decency. 

“I am convinced there will be an accident at some stage.

"There are 90 degree bends and legitimately parked cars. The near misses on these corners are mounting and it's only a matter of time.

“Do we have to wait for a serious accident or heaven forbid a fatality before this lunacy is halted?”

However, the bus company claimed the new route has made the service more 'reliable'.

By removing the double loop through traffic lights at Winnington Swing Bridge, the route has been 'streamlined' and now experiences 'reduced delays', the company says.

“While we understand the revised route may not be popular amongst all residents in the area, it shows it is important for us to ensure our routes best serve the passengers and communities along the entire length of the route,” the spokesperson added.