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All you need to know ahead of demolition of Fiddler’s Ferry cooling towers today

The cooling towers at Fiddler's Ferry power station <i>(Image: Newsquest)</i>
The cooling towers at Fiddler's Ferry power station (Image: Newsquest)

TODAY is the day that the area’s skyline changes for good.

Four of the iconic Fiddler’s Ferry cooling towers – which have stood proudly for close to 50 years – will come crashing down.

After news that the power station would close years ago, it was eventually decided that the four of the towers would be demolished today, Sunday.

From the explosion itself to dust to road closures, here’s everything we know ahead of the demolition:

Why is the power station being demolished?

Fiddler’s Ferry closed and was decommissioned back in March 2020 after nearly 50 years.

The site is now set to be transformed over the next decade and beyond.

It has been earmarked for housing and industrial use.

What time will the blowdown be taking place?

There is no set time for the blowdown.

The window is between 8am and midday, so it could happen anytime during this period.

The decision will not be made ahead of time as it will be based on a number of factors, including safety and weather.

How long will the explosion take?

The whole event will take just 10 seconds and will be just two bangs half a second apart.

The two explosions will only last one second.

On December 3, it is just the four cooling towers that are closest to the road that will be demolished.

Where can I watch the demolition?

There isn’t a public viewing area on the day, but there is a live stream feed for people to watch via clients.skyrevolutions.co.uk/fiddlers-ferry-power-station/

Warrington Guardian:
Warrington Guardian:

Readers have recommended to watch the demolition from:

  • Hill Cliffe, Appleton

  • Daresbury Firs

  • Frodsham Hill

  • UTC, Warrington

  • Wigg Island

  • Keckwick Lane, Daresbury

  • Redbrow Lane, Runcorn

Will the demolition be noisy and dusty?

Noise is expected to be heard outside of the exclusion zone, but it will only be for a short period of time.

Every effort will be made to reduce the amount of dust generated as part of the works.

Post demolition clean-up of the immediate area will be undertaken where required.

If you live nearby, the recommendation is that windows are kept closed this morning, and you may wish to consider not putting any washing out.

What road closures will be in place on the day?

Warrington Borough Council has published a Road Traffic Regulation Act notice detailing road closures to allow for the site to be demolished safely.

Driving will be prohibited on the following roads:

  • Widnes Road, from its junction with Farnworth Road roundabout to its junction with Dans Road

  • Dans Road, from its junction with Widnes Road to its junction with Dans Road roundabout

  • Farnworth Road, from its junction with Farnworth Road roundabout to its junction with South Lane

  • South Lane, from its junction with Farnworth Road to its junction with Derby Road

  • Derby Road, from its junction with South Lane to its junction with Watkinson Way.

The prohibition of driving order will be effective from December 3 for one day.

Warrington Guardian:
Warrington Guardian:

However, it is anticipated that the closures will only be in place between 7am and 4pm that day while the bulk of the demolition takes place.

The alternative route will be via Widnes Road, Warrington Road, Penketh Road, Sankey Way, Liverpool Road, Warrington Road, Watkinson Way, Fiddlers Ferry Road and vice versa.

Can I fly my drone on the day?

There is a NOTAM – or Notice to Airmen – in place for the demolition, and it is requested that no drones are flown over the site during the demolition.

A professional company has been commissioned to capture drone footage of the demolition on the day.

What has the team carrying out the demolition said?

A P.P. O’Connor spokesman said: “Extensive work is being carried out to ensure safety standards are upheld, and hazardous materials have already been removed in preparation for blowdown.

“P.P. O’Connor will check weather conditions and carry out full pre-checks and safety checks on the day.

“Following the blowdown, a series of further safety checks will take place, ensuring all the explosives are blown, the concrete piles will be inspected and the roads will be cleaned and confirmed safe.

“Demolition debris will be processed and recycled on site for future development.”

Daniel Mackinlay, demolition manager at P.P. O’Connor, added: “As a business, communication is key when working on any project.

“With the planned blowdown at this site, we have ensured we have maintained regular communication across the community.

“Our plan is to reduce any impact on the local community and maintain ongoing dialogue throughout the process.