The approval of plans to develop a state-of-the-art bus depot on Dallam Lane in Warrington have been welcomed by the joint venture company tasked with regenerating the town’s Southern Gateway.

The new depot will replace the existing operation on Wilderspool Causeway, freeing up the land for development by Wire Regeneration as part of its wider masterplan for the area.  Wire Regeneration is a joint venture between Warrington Borough Council and developer Langtree, which specialises in regeneration projects.

Council Leader Cllr Russ Bowden said: “The decision to approve the new bus depot is good news for Warrington and the town centre. Relocating the depot is an important step to ensuring our plans for regenerating the town’s Southern Gateway can be realised, making effective use of the brownfield land available.

“The decision also means that colleagues at Warrington’s Own Buses have a more fit-for-purpose home. It’s important that we continue to invest in public transport services as they support our plans to alleviate town centre traffic and encourage more people to leave their cars at home.”

“This is welcome news and delivers a number of major benefits to Warrington,” added Neal Biddle, group development director at Langtree.

“The new depot will be much closer to the town’s main bus station and it will allow the bus company to invest in the future, improving staff facilities and service to passengers.  At the same time it will allow Wire Regeneration to bring forward plans for much-needed homes and high quality civic space in a sustainable location on the edge of the town centre.”

The decision was also welcomed by Managing Director, Ben Wakerley, who said: “This is a vital next step in ensuring Warrington’s residents have the most efficient and technically advanced bus fleet as possible.

“The new depot will allow us to bolster our existing fleet with another 20 vehicles and, importantly, will enable us to improve working conditions for our dedicated team.”

Wire Regeneration recently secured planning permission for the first project in its wider masterplan, the construction of 160 new homes on the site of Warrington RLFC’s former Wilderspool stadium.

The new depot is expected to be complete and operational by the summer of 2021 as the new home for Warrington’s Own Buses.