Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Happier Happenings in Halton (1)

Halton Borough has some tenuous affinity with Milton Keynes. Both substantial communities take their names from villages which they have overwhelmed almost completely. The original Halton has rows of dainty cottages ...
... the remains of a red sandstone castle ...
... a church ...
... a pub ...
... and a shop. The village is quite sweet; but walk down the little road beside the shop ...
... and that side road (Holt Lane) suddenly becomes East Lane. Here are bridges ...
... and more bridges. You are on the eastern edge of the main Runcorn Shopping Centre.
The red bridges are for pedestrians; the concrete overpasses are part of the Runcorn busway ...
... a set of roads, some elevated, which carry ordinary (not guided) buses around the main parts of the original new town (shown in yellow on the map below).
The green roads are those also served by bus but not actually on the busway. These include the 52 which serves the High Street in Halton village.
The shop is centre left. The village (as was) is served by a local route 52, operated by Ashcroft Travel ...
... and calling every two hours.
But, of course, there is a much wider selection of services available at Halton Lea Gate, the somewhat posher sounding name for the shopping centre.

Originally Runc0rn and its busway was in the hands of Crosville ...
... later Arriva.

It was a boundary re-jig that, in 1974, merged Widnes Corporation with the developing new town at Runcorn into one "Unitary" authority and gave it the name Halton.
It always was a strange construct, with the two communities separated by the River Mersey. The original bridge (opened in 1961) ...
... used to be free whilst the new bridge ...
... charges a toll. When the old bridge is refurbished (work in progress) it, too, will charge a toll so the two halves of Halton will have to pay to visit one another! Seems a poor way to create a community! It was a transporter bridge that linked the communities until 1961 or, if you enjoyed a walk, the imposing railway bridge ...
... included a footpath.
It also charged a fee and was closed in 1965 ...
... and the ramp up from the pay box has been removed, but the final flight of stems still remains viewed from nearby Edith Street.
In 1909 Widnes Corporation started running buses and the company became Halton Transport and eventually an "arms length" operation which lasted, as we know, until last Friday.

Tomorrow we review the former Halton Transport bus network and see how the collapsed company's services have subsequently been covered.

The name of the railway viaduct is disputed. It is either The Queen Ethefleda Viaduct OR The Britannia Bridge!
The Transporter Bridge opened in 1905 and closed in 1961 when the first road bridge opened.

 More Halton Happenings blog : Thursday 30th January 

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