24th January 2017
People are being urged to have their say on a new motorway junction that could help maintain thousands of Cheshire jobs.
Highways England is creating junction 11a to accommodate the new Mersey Gateway Bridge which is due to open this autumn.
The bridge represents a £2 billion investment with economic, transport and social benefits, including 4,640 new jobs, reduction in journey times of up to 10 minutes and improvements to public transport facilities.
The new junction would reduce journey times and give improved access to the M56. The big beneficiaries would include the Whitehouse industrial estate and Halton General hospital.
It would also reduce the amount of traffic needing to use junction 11 at Preston Brook. It’s thought it would also help reduce journey times when travelling to Liverpool John Lennon airport.
The consultation stage is mainly focused on the Murdishaw roundabout which would be close to the new 11a junction. Option (a) is to upgrade the current roundabout to a ‘through-about’ while option (b) would see it replaced with a signalised crossroad.
Project Manager, Tristram Bardrick, says it will help locally: “I met with a lady from Halton General hospital. She’s really keen on the new junction, the reason being that she thinks its going to help maintain staff.”
He did however admit the long term benefits will come at a short term cost: “There will be some disruption caused through the construction period. We obviously work to minimise that, but after you should get much better traffic flows across the Mersey Gateway but also locally as well.”
The first consultation event has already taken place, but there are three more before the period closes in February. They are:
Saturday 28th January – 10am to 4pm – Preston Brook Village Hall, Sandy Lane, Preston Brook, Runcorn, WA7 3AW
Tuesday 31st January – 10.30am to 1.30pm – Halton General Hospital, Hospital Way, Runcorn, WA7 2DA
Wednesday 1st February – 4pm to 8pm – Holiday Inn Runcorn, Wood Lane, Beechwood, WA7 3HA
Alternatively, you can view the proposals and have your say in an online survey here.