Investment in this country’s transport infrastructure is vital for long-term economic growth. This is why the Government is committing to long-term investment in the Northern Powerhouse, in road and rail schemes, and is legislating to create Sub-National Transport Bodies.
The Government’s Road Investment Strategy (RIS) for the 2015 to 2020 Road Period sets out plans for road schemes across the country. The strategy document is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/road-investment-strategy-for-the-2015-to-2020-road-period.
A scheme for delivery in the first Road Period in Merseyside is the A5036 Princess Way – access to Port of Liverpool, a comprehensive upgrade to improve the main link between the Port of Liverpool and motorway network. Other schemes benefitting the wider Merseyside area include the upgrade to Smart Motorway of the M53 junctions 5 to 11 and the M6 junctions 21a to 26. Additionally, junction 22 of the M6 will be upgraded.
Details of Local Growth Funds for the Merseyside area, which includes St Helens, are set out in the Liverpool City Region: additional Growth Deal funding factsheet, which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/liverpool-city-region-growth-deal.
This Growth Deal includes various transport schemes, in particular over £50m of government investment in key transport connections into and within Liverpool City Centre, revitalising the north of the city and better connecting Liverpool’s iconic waterfront to the city centre. Additionally funding has been allocated to the A5300 Knowsley Expressway to maximise the benefits of the New Mersey crossing and access to Liverpool Airport; plus funding for development of a new station at Maghull North, improving transport across north Liverpool.
The Government has also made a significant financial commitment to the Mersey Gateway Bridge which is currently under construction and which will improve accessibility across the wider Liverpool city region area. The Thornton to Switch Island link road in Sefton, to relieve congestion in the area and improve highway access between Southport and the North-West motorway system, has also recently been completed after receiving £14.5 million of government funding.
The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has been allocated around £88million in local highways maintenance funding for the period 2015/16 to 2020/21, which builds on the around £70million of local highways maintenance funding invested in Merseyside from 2010/11 to 2014/15.
St Helens and Liverpool City Region will benefit from the North of England Rail Infrastructure Upgrade Programme. North West Electrification has recently been completed between Liverpool and Manchesterand Liverpool and Wigan and Northern Electric services serve the St Helens North constituency.
Liverpool City Region recently signed a devolution deal which will allow local authorities to take on responsibility for local issues on an unprecedented level. The region will also have an elected Mayor. This devolution of powers is part of the Government’s strategy to create a Northern Powerhouse which will enable the North to work together and become greater than the sum of its parts.