PEOPLE are being asked to have their say on ambitious plans to “reset negative perceptions” of Runcorn and make it a visitor destination.

Plans to give Runcorn the “wow factor” were submitted to Halton council last month – but planning bosses want to know what would really make outsiders  more likely to visit the area.

The plans, submitted by Halton council, will see old roads and infrastructure leading onto the Silver Jubilee Bridge (SJB) in Runcorn demolished, reduced and replaced with a smaller but upgraded highway network.

The road improvement scheme is part of a wider “Station Quarter” regeneration project to improve first impressions of Runcorn by revitalising the area around the town’s station so it becomes a destination in its own right.

Proposals hoped to attract more visitors include making Runcorn Station a more visibly prominent asset to the town so that arriving in the area is no longer “grey and dull”.

Images suggest planning chiefs are looking to Europe for inspiration on how to transform the look of the area by creating a colourful and vibrant “gateway” into Runcorn.

If approved, that gateway could include exciting developments such as shops, leisure facilities, a new transport hub and hotels, made possible by the road clearance works which would free up space for regeneration.

A planning document, submitted by Mott McDonald consultants, states that an initial focus on road improvements will lay the grounds to create a “functional and vibrant gateway” into the town, which will “reset current negative perceptions of the area, and ensure it is a memorable gateway for future visitors”.

It is hoped the road improvements will also drive more people into the town centre by enhancing connectivity between the station and the centre, allowing greater ease of movement around the town.

The first stage of the plan will be the removal of the loop road adjacent to the station, known as the “trumpet loop”, which could go ahead in Spring 2019 if the plans are passed.

Demolished roads will then be replaced with a new roundabout junction to maintain and improve access to the station and Silver Jubilee Bridge, after which new developments could start.

Halton Council is inviting the public to view its Station Quarter improvement plans at The Brindley Theatre, Runcorn on November 14 from 4pm to 6pm.

You can also submit your views online.