The proposed £120m redesign of Liverpool’s Rocket junction, the congestion hotspot at the end of the M62, is to advance to the next stage after the Department for Transport confirmed it would contribute £1.25m towards an outline business case.
The Rocket, which is used by 100,000 cars a day, is designated as one of four major road projects which could receive funding from a £700m Transport for the North pot with construction scheduled to begin in 2022.
The draft proposals for the major upgrade to the Rocket Junction would include the demolition of the existing Queens Drive Flyover and replacing it with a roundabout, featuring a dual lane underpass.
The traffic signals would also be reconfigured while cars would be able to take advantage of a ‘through-about’, where the main road passes through the centre of the roundabout.
Liverpool announced a climate emergency in July 2019 and the improvements to the Rocket Junction could reduce CO2 emissions in the area by 10%, according to TfN.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “The Rocket is an integral part of our plans to improve the road network, drive forward the economy and create a Liverpool Powerhouse.
“The outline business case is a major stepping stone and to have this initial backing is a significant signal that the government recognises the economic and environmental importance of this scheme.
“As we all know, the M62 junction is causing commuter misery every single day and by its flawed design is causing congestion and contributing to greater air pollution.”
Peter Molyneux, major roads director at Transport for the North, said: “As the busiest junction in Liverpool, with more than 100,000 vehicles travelling through it each day, this is an essential upgrade project that will have significant benefits for all road users.
“As well as bringing journey times down locally it will also have a positive impact on the wider motorway network and support Liverpool’s ambitious growth plans.”
Three of the four projects, termed Local Large Majors, are in the North West with projects in Kendal and Wigan also in the race for funding. The fourth is in Yorkshire.
Other North West projects to receive funding from the Department for Transport include improvements to the A34 between Cheadle and Handforth, and the A582 in Preston which have will benefit from £320,000 and £440,000 respectively.
In total 16 northern road projects are seeking funding.