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Runcorn, Cheshire

Town of Runcorn, Cheshire

Runcorn is an industrial town and cargo port within the borough of Halton in the county of Cheshire, England. The population of Runcorn in 2011 was 61,000.


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Runcorn is located on the southern bank of the River Mersey where the estuary narrows to form Runcorn Gap. Directly to the north across the Mersey is the town of Widnes. Upstream and 13 km (8 miles) to the north-east is the town of Warrington, and downstream 22.5 km (16 miles to the west is the city of Liverpool .

Runcorn lies on the West Coast Main Railway Line and the A533 road. The Manchester Ship Canal runs between it and the River Mersey, and the Bridgewater Canal passes through and ends in the town at its junction with the Manchester Ship Canal.

Located within the M62 and M56 corridors, Widnes and Runcorn in the Borough of Halton, have superb communication links by road, rail, sea and air to the rest of the UK, Europe and beyond.

Runcorn and Widnes are within one hour’s drive of glorious North Wales and the Lake District and half an hour from the vibrant cities of Manchester and Liverpool, with their cultural, shopping and sporting opportunities

In 1964 Runcorn was designated as a New Town. In 1974, as part of the Local Government Act 1972, Runcorn Urban District was abolished and its territory amalgamated with Widnes to form the borough of Halton.

The earliest documentary reference is in the Saxon Chronicle where the name is Rumcofan. This name derives from the Anglo-Saxon words rúm, meaning wide or broad, and cofa, meaning cave or cove, the whole meaning a wide cove or bay. Subsequent spellings have been Rumcoven, Ronchestorn, Runckhorne and Runcorne, finally becoming the modern name of Runcorn.

During the 19th century the town became increasingly dominated by the chemical and tanning industries. In 1868 the Runcorn Railway Bridge was opened across the Mersey, giving Runcorn direct rail links with Liverpool and the rest of the country via Crewe.

In 1905 the Widnes-Runcorn Transporter Bridge opened, giving a direct link for vehicular traffic for the first time between the two towns.

Official Town of Runcorn, Cheshire website: www.halton.gov.uk

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