|Location Map ( geo)|
|Crossings related to the A49|
By the 1960s traffic levels had increased to levels that the bridge and the associated Bridge Foot junction was becoming a bottleneck. Warrington County Borough first proposed a scheme in 1962 to provide a freeflow right turn from Wilson Patten Street to the bridge. This was approved in 1965 but never carried out.
The next scheme was part of the Warrington New Town proposals of the late 1960s. The consultants working on behalf of the development corporation devised a scheme that included grade separation either end of the bridge. The bridge could be reconfigured to provide five lanes. This scheme features in most material related to the new town proposals and is shown on the left below.
The County Borough produced a revised scheme with flyovers on both sides of the river along with a new bridge. This is shown on the right below.
In 1972 the development corporation produced a report examining all past and present proposals for the bridge. It reached the conclusion that capacity should be increased to provide relief until the North-South Expressway was built which would cross the Mersey about a mile to the east. Furthermore any increase in capacity shouldn't make the bridge a more attractive proposition to through traffic than the expressway and therefore the preferred scheme consists of at-grade junctions either side of the bridge along with possible tidal flow on the bridge itself. No new bridge or grade separation would be needed.
Another twenty years were to elapse before improvements were finally made when a new bridge was built in the same place as the earlier County Borough's proposals. Both bridges became a traffic signal controlled gyratory.