£310M transport investment for Merseyside and Cheshire
Highways England has announced its preferred options for two key routes in Merseyside and Cheshire.
The road improvement schemes are designed to cut congestion, improving the journey for hundreds of thousands of motorists travelling through the area.
Some £250M will be spent upgrading the key route to the Port of Liverpool, where a new three-mile dual carriageway between the motorway network and the port will take freight away from residential areas on the A5036, which has been identified as being the tenth most congested road in England.
The bypass will serve the existing port as well as the new £300M deep-water container terminal, which is expected to triple the port’s volume of goods by 2030.
While the creation of a new £60M junction on the M56 near Runcorn will play a vital role in supporting the region’s economy, creating a new link to the Mersey Gateway bridge between Runcorn and Widnes, and improving local access to the motorway.
The junction will link to a new crossroads for the A533 Southern Expressway and Murdishaw Avenue, north of the motorway, replacing an existing roundabout and traffic lights. The new crossroads will use sensors in the road to respond to changes in traffic levels.
Tim Gamon, Highways England’s regional delivery director for the North West, said: “Both these major road schemes will help to bring significant economic benefits to the North West and we’re now at the stage where we can set out our preferred options for the projects.
“The new bypass will take the existing traffic away from the A5036 as well as managing the significant increase in vehicle numbers that are anticipated with the port’s growth. We’re also committed to making improvements to the existing A5036 as part of the scheme that will benefit people who live and work in the area.
“The new junction on the M56 will also benefit local residents by taking traffic away from residential areas as well as providing a new route to the Mersey Gateway bridge – an important new link between Cheshire and Merseyside.”
Detailed designs for both major road projects will now be developed, with construction work due to start by spring 2020.
Funding for the schemes is being provided as part of the government’s £15 billion Road Investment Strategy (RIS), and will help boost the Northern Powerhouse by improving transport connectivity and reliability to help the economy of the North.
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