Roads built to ease traffic on major motorway still haven’t opened

New roads installed to reduce traffic between Maghull and Liverpool haven't been opened yet – despite being ready since April.

The £6m project has provided a northbound off-slip and a southbound on-slip to the M58, which should improve journey times along the route, as well as some nearby residential roads.

But the handover process between Sefton Council and Highways England (HE) has faced delays.

Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson has called for the roads to open "without delay". He said: “There have been difficulties relating to the coronavirus lockdown, but they should now be able to confirm that the slip roads can open.”

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MP Bill Esterson is calling for the slip roads to open "without delay"

Mr Esterson has also previously said it was vital that these works were completed before the commencement of any major house building in Melling and Maghull.

A spokesman for Sefton Council said: "The handover process has involved a number of stages, including the completion of a road safety audit and a complete inspection by a member of HE's team.

"HE also needed to process the necessary orders for the slip roads to become motorway.

“HE initially informed us that, because of the restrictions placed on their staff in the early stages of lockdown, they weren’t able to attend the site to complete the necessary processes as it wasn’t deemed an emergency. As such the slip roads remain closed and the contractor has had to maintain the necessary traffic management.

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“I am pleased that, following some discussions, the necessary audits and inspections have been completed and information handed over. Some issues, mostly minor, have been identified and actions put in place. These include a small element of additional vehicle restraint barrier.

"We hope to have a date for opening confirmed. Discussion are ongoing with the Police and HE over the details.”

Highways England echoed this, saying "the safety of drivers is its top priority".

Their spokesman said: “We made several recommendations to the independent road safety audit in April for improvements to the new slip roads, and most of these have now been completed.

"We are continuing to work closely with Sefton Council to open the slip roads as soon as possible.”

The scheme has been funded by Liverpool City Region Local Growth Fund, who initially provided £5.5m.

According to a report to the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority however, a further £500,000 was later allocated to assist in the increase in construction costs due to "delays following prolonged land assembly issues".

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