Planning team selected to process second Mersey crossing

Public-private joint venture Urban Vision has been commissioned by Halton council to process planning applications for the proposed £390m Mersey Gateway Bridge project.

Urban Vision is a JV between Salford City Council, Capita Symonds and Morrison Highways Maintenance. The firm will work directly with Halton to ensure planning applications for the bridge and associated highways works are processed to the required standard and on time.

If completed, the second crossing, itself proposed by Halton council, will ease congestion currently experienced by users of the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge. The bridge will offer three lanes in each direction, roughly 1.5 km to the east of the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge.

The project also includes modifications to the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge to improve facilities for public transport, walking and cycling.

Andrew Fuller, principal planner on the project for Urban Vision, commented: "The proposals for the Mersey Gateway Bridge are of huge regional significance and it's fantastic for Urban Vision to get involved in such a high profile project. Currently 80,000 vehicles use the Silver Jubilee Bridge every weekday, which is ten times the number it was originally designed for. With that number only likely to increase it is vital that the area receives an additional route over the river. I'm confident that Urban Vision's expertise will prove vital in achieving the relevant planning permissions for this ambitious project."

Halton expects to make a planning decision on the application next summer. If approved the bridge could be finished by 2014.

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