Edge Lane West bypass hits delays

The latest phase of long-awaited improvement works to the drive in from the M62 to Liverpool city centre will begin on Monday 14 March.

Work will see contractor Birse Civils widening the road between Hall Lane and Botanic Place to become a dual carriageway, which aims to build a new central reservation, re-modelling of existing junctions, and improve pedestrian facilities as well as installing new street lighting.

Liverpool City Council said the latest traffic management phase will be in place for approximately 12 months until February 2012.

The introduction of the traffic management phase for the Edge Lane West scheme comes a week ahead of the transfer of traffic onto the new carriageway at Hall Lane, which has now been put back to Monday 21 March.

The Hall Lane carriageway, part of a £19m Hall Lane strategic gateway scheme being delivered by Balfour Beatty, was meant to open to motorists on 28 February but was delayed due problems with electrical cables.

The new section of road is called Low Hall from the Prescot Road Low Hill junction and Mount Vernon Road from West Derby Street to Edge Lane. Hall Lane itself will become an access only road and will be blocked off at both ends. Access will be via Mount Vernon Green.

Liverpool City Council said it was decided to introduce the traffic management measures on Edge Lane ahead of the opening of the new Hall Lane carriageway to allow drivers to become accustomed to the restrictions on Edge Lane before the new route at Hall Lane opens.

During the works, Edge Lane will be reduced to a single-lane outbound from the city centre. Inbound traffic will remain in two lanes during the morning peak and will reduce to a single lane at all other times.

The morning peak hours for the two-lanes inbound are 7am to 9.30am.

All residents and businesses in the area have been consulted about the works, as well as the emergency services, to minimise disruption.

The city council is asking drivers to consider other routes while the works are ongoing, as well as suggesting they leave more time for their journey, especially during the initial phases of the work as people get used to the changes.

The whole of Edge Lane will become a dual carriageway by the end of the scheme, which aims to reduce bottlenecks of congestion and improve safety and journey times into and out of the city centre.

Cllr Malcolm Kennedy, cabinet member for regeneration and transport, said: "We do appreciate that these works will inevitably cause delays for some, and we apologise in advance for that. However, it is impossible to bring about these massive improvements, which will benefit motorists for many years to come, without some short-term disruption. We would ask motorists to be patient while this work is on-going."

Nick Kavanagh, the city council's director for regeneration, added: "These improvements are something that Liverpool people – and in particular the business community – have been requesting for decades, and we're delighted that we are now making it happen.

"We are working hard with our partners to minimise disruption and are doing all we can to make it as painless as possible for motorists."

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