Liverpool

Thornton Bypass £20m plan gets green light

A £20m relief road which was thought to be on the verge of being scrapped has been given the green light by the government.

The Thornton bypass in Merseyside was the subject of an election row in May when the Liberal Democrats claimed both Labour and Tories would scrap it.

But Transport Secretary Phillip Hammond confirmed on Tuesday the scheme can go ahead.

The relief road would ease traffic in Netherton and Thornton.

It has been given the go ahead subject to the local authority's contribution to the scheme being approved by the government.

The road, which will connect the Switch Island M57 and M58 interchange with the A565 to Crosby, is designed to reduce long tailbacks and delays along Green Lane, the major route through Thornton.

Plans for a Thornton bypass have been discussed for 40 years.

The announcement received a cross party welcome from councillors in Sefton.

Councillor John Fairclough (Labour) the council's member for technical services said it was "great news for the communities of Thornton, Netherton, Maghull and Crosby but also for thousands of motorists".

'Win-win situation'

Council leader Tony Robertson (Lib Dem) said it was "wonderful news for thousands of people who have pushing for a new link road for many years".

While Conservative leader councillor Paula Parry said it was a "win-win situation" as the bypass always had widespread public support.

Mr Hammond also confirmed an announcement to build a second £431m bridge between Runcorn and Widnes, which was flagged up last week by Chancellor George Osborne.

The Mersey Gateway project had been put on hold pending the outcome of the Treasury's Spending Review.

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