Plans underway for Mersey Gateway consultation
Plans are well underway for a public engagement programme on the Mersey Gateway project this summer.
It will inform residents, businesses and organisations in Halton and the wider north west region about the plans for a new bridge over the Mersey between Runcorn and Widnes.
The £390 million project will ease the significant congestion and increase journey reliability on the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge between the two towns and provide a major strategic new transport route linking the Liverpool city-region and the north west to the rest of the country.
There will be public exhibitions throughout the borough, with leaflets, which will explain the details of the project and the benefits it will bring to the region, distributed to all local residents.
Cllr Tony McDermott, Leader of Halton Borough Council and Chair of the Mersey Gateway Executive Board, said: “Our plans are now well underway. The Mersey Gateway project is about much more than just a new bridge. It is the biggest project of its kind in the north of England, and it will bring massive benefits to Halton and the surrounding area. We have received a lot of support so far and it is very important to us that we keep local people and businesses and our wider stakeholders informed about our plans, so we will be very keen to hear the public?s views as part of this process.”
The new crossing will bring a wide range of benefits to the area including:
- hundreds of new jobs and millions of pounds worth of new investment
- reduced journey times and improved journey reliability for local people, commuters and businesses
- the continued transformation of the towns of Widnes and Runcorn as part of a widespread regeneration programme.
The government approved funding for Mersey Gateway in March 2006. The Mersey Gateway team is now working up detailed proposals to ensure that the project brings the maximum possible benefits to Halton and the north west and ensure that any environmental impacts are minimised. The Mersey Gateway is scheduled to open in 2014.
Due to the scale and importance of the project there is likely to be a public inquiry into the new crossing before the Secretary of State for Transport can give final approval.