Businesses gather to hear Mersey Gateway latest
Some of the north west’s leading players from the worlds of business, politics and transport have gathering this morning (Friday 16th May) to hear the latest developments in the £390million Mersey Gateway Project.
Councillor Tony McDermott, leader of Halton Borough Council and David Parr, Chief Executive, were joined by Project Director Steve Nicholson and regeneration specialist Iain Jenkinson of consultants GVA Grimley to set out how the project has been moving on over the last few months.
The Project is currently in the process of submitting a complex series of planning applications to Halton Borough Council and central government and details of this process were given along with further details on the route and how the scheme has the ability to provide the network resilience required to deal with future projected traffic flows across the north west over the next 30 years.
Cllr Tony McDermott said: “Events such as the one today allow us to continue our dialogue with the people who are going to get the greatest benefit from the Mersey Gateway – the residents and businesses of Halton and the wider north west.”
“We have also been busy talking to other key stakeholders and this week members of the Mersey Gateway team, along with myself met with a number of north west MPs in Westminster to further press the case for the project.”
Steve Nicholson, Mersey Gateway Project Director, said: “The Mersey Gateway Project will relieve traffic congestion, improve journey time reliability and the resilience of the road network as well as being a catalyst for regeneration over the next 20-30 years.”
“The existing Silver Jubilee Bridge, which is used by 30million vehicles every year, and the regional road network, which includes the M6 Thelwall Viaduct, is under increasing pressure and the new project will strengthen its resilience.”
“We have carried out extensive traffic modelling work that shows that the new bridge will be able to achieve this without generating extra journeys or drawing additional traffic through Halton.”
Regeneration specialists GVA Grimley set out the major regeneration potential the project has for attracting new investment, creating jobs and revitalising communities in Halton and across the region as part of their work to develop a long term regeneration strategy for Halton.
The study looks at the wide ranging economic, social, physical and environmental regeneration opportunities that the Mersey Gateway could potentially deliver in five key areas across the borough. They are:
- West Bank, Widnes
- Runcorn Old Town
- Astmoor Industrial Estate
- Halton Lea
- Rocksavage and Clifton
Iain Jenkinson, Director at GVA Grimley said: “The regeneration strategy looks at the opportunities created by the new bridge to maximise the regeneration potential across five areas of the borough.”
“There are a range of option that we have presented to residents and businesses in the borough already through a series of exhibitions and we are now working towards producing a final set of recommended options that we will publish in the Summer.”