Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Gary

Give Warrington town centre a chance!

Recommended Posts

 

Gary, I try to think positively re - Warrington town centre but find it increasingly difficult as there is little to be positive about, Warrington has to earn my respect and at present that is not happening, absolutely nothing would give me more pleasure than to boast that I come from Warrington and as yet I don't feel that I am ready to do that. To me the towns only saving grace comes from driving up Winmarleigh Street on a sunny day and seeing the towns 'Jewel in the Crown' the Town Hall , I pray to God that WBC planners are never allowed to alter that building as it is one of our treasures and having said that there are few of those remaining!.

Good luck with this post Gary!.

 

 

Warrington_town_hall_zpskyi8edew.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fair play Gary but each one of those points you raise comes with some caveat or other. Of course all town centres face the same challenges and some are coping better than others. I sense there may be improvements in some aspects of Warrington and it's certainly doing better than some other places, but the town really needs to get to grips with the development and preservation of its culture and heritage. Bowling alleys and multiplexes won't cut it and it's evident that the Time Square development also represents some missed opportunities, not least the chance to create a proper theatre. 

I'd imagine the biggest concern will be that the potential increase in the town's population by a fifth and the ongoing destruction of green belt, parkland and any site of any historic interest whatsoever will simply choke the town. There seem to be signs that some people are keen to push back against this but they're up against some pretty powerful vested interests and elements at the council that would cheerfully see the whole place concreted over. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where to begin, there are multitude of factors that have played a part in the demise of the Town Centre, and it's not just a Warrington problem.  If we start with the politicians, I would suggest that rather than an emotional attachment to and investment in a comprehensive vision (local plan), our politicians, either through laziness or ignorance, gave total cart blanche to the expediency of allowing a developer led strategy, which has resulted in piece meal and disjointed development.  If we go back to the golden opportunity of Warrington New Town, we can discern that it was wrapped around the old Town without being integrated into it.  The linear road system linked areas of NT development, rather than adopting a radial system that placed the TC at it's centre.  It also gave rise to the "out of Town" retail phenomenon, which was car dependent, with the resultant sprawl of retail "sheds" we see today.  All of which draw custom and activity away from the centre.  Likewise, in the TC itself, we saw the development of Golden Square, which in effect was like moving the existing TC to the N/W of the TC, leaving other areas abandoned. Retail has a finite demand, and if you move it and concentrate it in one area, the rest dies.  We've also got the issue of that demand, if residential dwellings, and thus population are moved outward, it's no wonder we witness reduced demand for shopping and entertainment. Finally, the advent of on-line shopping clearly doesn't help the high street's sustainability.  Whether it's too late, I'm not sure, but any remedial strategy will take a generation to repair.      :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The town isn't really welcoming to visitors, particularly the bus station. It's become very drab and run-down looking. Quite often the sliding glass doors malfunction (either not opening, or opening and closing continuously), some of the bus information screens at the stands show the wrong time (and therefore the wrong bus times). The whole place needs a good clean, and when it rains it resembles a wholesale bucket warehouse.

The scene that greets you when you come out of both stations is less than welcoming. And the amount of litter covering most of the town's streets is nothing short of disgraceful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Warrington is shining example of why the planners shouldn't  turn an old established town with an established road network into  a new town. Warrington was congested enough before it's population explosion ,being a major crossing on the Mersey & having 4 major trunk roads meeting in the town. The close proximity of the country's main motorways  has also played a very important part in Warrington's success. However, trying to build  out of town shopping centres is always going to drag people away from a traditional town centre when the town is host to so many traffic problems.

Contrast Warrington with the other new towns. Milton Keynes,Washington & Skelmersdale were built around a village with bespoke highways ,shopping centres & housing developments built from scratch to serve the new town. Runcorn was a smaller town than Warrington & its new town was built outside the old Runcorn complete with new town centre & snazzy ,if confusing, new road network to match.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Negative thoughts have certainly led to negative outcome!. It was the negative developer/greed led thoughts of those who produced the town centre ‘regeneration’ plans which have led to it’s destruction. It has been the inaction of our councillors – what on earth were they thinking of when they allowed these plans to be passed? All, despite the professional, renown CABE DESIGN refusing to support the plans! The result of these negative thoughts and foolhardy decisions has led to one monstrous, ugly mess which will only get worse as the developments progress. Warrington town centre could have been regenerated at a fraction of the cost, in a way that could have preserved it’s unique heritage and identity whilst retaining the loyalty and affection of the people. How can you expect people to ‘take ownership’ of the bland, box-type ‘no-where’s-ville’ being presently created?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem with Warrington is that it has no USP a new cinema and bowling alley  is nothing special. It is not as pleasant as Chester for example on a nice day, most of Warrington's nicer building stand empty, nor does it offer the shopping experience of the Trafford center.

PS: I am Surprised how many city center cinemas are being developed around the country.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Milky said:

PS: I am Surprised how many city center cinemas are being developed around the country.

The reason for that is that when you look at the models used, they are just emulating  out of town parks because that's what they think works. You can guarantee that the restaurants they are trying to attract to the Time Square development are Pizza Hut, Frankie and Bennys, Nando's and so on. It's basically The Halton Centre but in the middle of Warrington. God forbid they should create a model based on local businesses and independent shops, bars, cafes and restaurants.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would a revolutionary idea be to run buses & taxis through the town centre streets once more so passengers can get as close as possible to where they want to shop or take refreshment.Many people are reluctant to or are unable walk  more than a few steps & probably venture no further than from the  bus station to Golden Square  or the Hop Pole & back to the bus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Going to where exactly Dave ?       M&S gone,  TJs gone, unless you want to listen to a guy playing an accordion and gather some tumbleweed !      :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well if there is no custom ,whatever  business there is  will fail.  What harm would it do to run buses to at least help what businesses are left in Buttermarket ,Bridge & Horsemarket streets ?

We are good at sneering at the lack of local businesses & i would think anything that encourages local traders must be a good thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps as a start Dave, efforts could be made to re-populate the TC.   We've now got a generation that can't afford to buy or even rent a flat. If the Council bought up properties, and provided cheap rented flats above shops, it would kill two birds with one stone, and furnish demand for shopping and entertainment.      :ph34r:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent idea Obs & it seems that failing town centres are a nationwide problem. Many big name firms are upset because profits are less than expected.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of the high street stores are suffering due to the on-line shopping,  so it's down to people again - if you don't use it, you lose it. Seems also, that some are reluctant to leave the virtual world and explore the real world and enjoy the company of other Europeans over a cup of coffee !     :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps a lot of these profit warnings &  dire predictions are just a good opportunity for High Street "names" to transfer their main business to online retailing while getting shut of staff & expensive to run stores.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

explore the real world and enjoy the company of other Europeans over a cup of coffee

When was the last time you bought a cup of coffee? and by that i mean a cup of coffee and not a caramel fudge double frappé latte with a a shot of hazelnut.:wacko:

I had to go into town yesterday for my new glasses and spent five minutes staring at one of those costa machines trying to find a white coffee.( i was wearing my glasses at the time so not down to poor eyesight).B)

On-line shopping is getting harder to avoid these days as quite a lot of stores have great goods on offer but you can ONLY purchase them on-line and not in store. It often puzzles me when i have gone into a place and found that the price on-line was actually less than the in store price despite the fact that it has to be delivered as opposed to taken off a shelf.

VIRTUAL REALITY, for those who can't cope with actual reality.:rolleyes:

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

but they do serve tea

not to me they don't, can't stand tea. last cup of tea i had was in 1965 and i didn't drink that. something when i was very young put me off tea, it got so that even the smell would make me feel nauseous. not so bad these days but cannot drink tea even if my life depended on it.

seems that trendy coffee houses are the norm these days.

cafe's were easier it was tea, coffee,chocolate, horlicks or bovril for your hot drinks. nowdays you have to spend ten minutes reading the varieties and variations to try and find one that you can at least recognise and just might drink.

One other thing i miss is proper mugs for drinks. they seem to have three types now. shaving mug ones with those ridiculously small handles that you can't get a finger into and can't grip. Ice cream type ones that you used to get served sundaes in in some  places, and those thimble sized ones that have about two drips of coffee in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×