Inquiry into Thornton and Switch Island link road plans

A public inquiry is to be held into plans for a link road between Thornton and Switch Island on Merseyside.

The £19m bypass is designed to ease traffic in the Netherton area and improve access to the M57 and M58.

Sefton Council said it had anticipated a government hearing into the road but had hoped it would not be needed.

The inquiry was called after there were two objections to the compulsory purchase order needed to acquire the land to build on.

As one of these is classed as a statutory objection, a public inquiry has been called by the Secretary of State for Transport.

It is due to take place in the next three to five months.

Sefton Council Leader Peter Dowd said: "Naturally we are disappointed at anything which means the delivery of this long-anticipated link road may take a little bit longer.

"The road has overwhelming support but we are respectful of people's democratic rights and we are working hard to address the grounds for objection without the need for a formal inquiry.

"The timescale for the inquiry is largely governed by the Department for Transport but we are doing our best to push for a hearing as soon as possible."

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