Alpaca Alley?It's not great all round, north of the river Mersey, west of Warrington.
However, if you can get it so that you avoid going through warrington centre then you will be OK.
The way to come from the north across the Mersey is to go along Glazebrook Lane, then across Warburton Bridge. The route from there to Northwich is really good and you have a multitude of options. So, Leigh is a pretty good start point for a route to Northwich.
St Helens is a bit trickier because of the direction is lies above Warrington. However, the way to do Warrington is to keep north over the top then use the road that runs parallel to the M6 to bring you to the A57, and then use the A57 to go over Warburton Bridge again.
Traversing through Warrington is pretty rubbish. I've never attempted it on a weekday rush hour but I have done it several times on a Saturday and although the traffic was flowing freely, it's one of those places where there's a lot of junctions and cars generally are travelling slightly faster on average than they should meaning (IMO) if you regularly commute, then there's a fair chance you'll be involved in some kind of collision.
I'd agree with that, I'd probably go Winwick, Risley Moss then look at using School Lane/ Dam Lane (slightly naughty, technically a private road/public footpath but lots do it) to get to Hollins Green and Warby bridge. If using Warby bridge be aware that the toll booth opens at 7am, DO NOT get here at about 0655 since its a blasted race track as all the nutters try to beat the toll and save 10 penceIt's 11 miles from St. Helens to Leigh...
If you live in St Helens, to go through Culcheth sounds like a long way east before heading south to me.
School Lane is classified as a bridleway, so 100% legit I think. The, maybe, naughty bit is cutting onto it from Rockingham Close but just this week a new path has been laid on the muddy bit and a bicycle friendly kissing-gate installed so I guess the authorities are aware we're doing it.I'd agree with that, I'd probably go Winwick, Risley Moss then look at using School Lane/ Dam Lane (slightly naughty, technically a private road/public footpath but lots do it) to get to Hollins Green and Warby bridge. If using Warby bridge be aware that the toll booth opens at 7am, DO NOT get here at about 0655 since its a blasted race track as all the nutters try to beat the toll and save 10 pence
Snap - that's what I recommended, but I'm lazier than you and called it the B5159!+1 for Going past Bents Garden Centre, down Glazebrook Lane and over Warby Toll Bridge (no need to pay for cyclists).
My usual route, pretty direct and nice lanes...
Once over it, go straight to T junction, turn right, passing Green Dragon pub then immediate left.
Follow this road for few miles (couple of bends and a set of lights to go through) until next T junction, then left and immediate right, past the entrance to High Legh Garden Centre.
Follow this road for a few miles until you hit a T junction, turn right, passing Curbishley's Roses.
After about a mile, the road starts to head slightly down hill, take a right onto Hield Lane, down a big dip and back up again.
Straight over at the cross roads, and then after 2 miles or so this road takes you to a roundabout in Northwich which is then signposted.
I will let you look up the road names, etc
Done that route to Warrington, didn't know it crossed the TPT, is it before Warrington?It is possible to ride down sankey valley park virtually all the way off road starting at Carr Mill dam on the A580 down to the trans-pennine trail and cross the ship canal at walton A56. Not the quickest of routes and a bit rough in places.