Work to start on £80m highways investment

Work will get underway on Monday 6 October on the first phase of an £80 million investment in Liverpool’s highways network.

The £1.4 million scheme on the Walton corridor of the A59 is the first as part of the city’s commitment to drastically reduce the £256 million backlog in road repairs over the next eight years.

The works involve resurfacing the Walton Vale/Warbreck Moor stretch between Hornby Road and Park Lane and will take 16 weeks to complete, meaning lane restrictions and temporary lights during the day.

Walton Vale has caused concerns in recent years as it has a severely rutted carriageway which has led to flooding, while 75 percent Warbreck Moor has been recorded as defective.

The first element of the scheme will see stretches of the road closed mainly overnight for around six weeks from 7pm until 6am, with diversions in place.

The parts of the road affected by night time work are:

• Warbreck Ave to Windsor Road: 06/10/14 – 11/10/14
• Windsor Road to Orrell Park: 12/10/14 – 20/10/14
• Warbreck Ave to Sydney St (Longmoor Lane junction): 21/10/14 – 03/11/14
• Sydney Street to Caldy Road: 04/11/14 – 07/11/14
• A566 to Glenbank Close: 08/11/14 – 18/11/14
• Melling Road to Railway Bridge: 14/11/14 – 18/11/14
• Melling Road to Park Lane: 21/11/14 – 24/11/14

The following stretches will be affected by day time work:

• Caldy Road to Railway Bridge: 13/10/14 – 05/11/14
• Melling Road to Park Lane: 06/11/14 – 20/11/14

*Please note all dates are subject to slight change but the first phase will be completed by the end of November in time for the festive season*

The project will also include upgrades to traffic signals and minor footway works.

A second phase of work around the Hornby Road junction will take place in January 2015 and will be completed by mid-February.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “There has been a significant lack of investment in our road network for decades, largely due to a shortage of central government funding.

“I am constantly being told by people that the condition of our roads is something that they want tackling and so we are taking significant steps in putting that right.

“There are huge economic benefits of well-maintained, high-quality highways as they keep traffic flowing, keep vehicle running costs low, and by ensuring people and goods can move efficiently, make our city a more desirable place to live, work, visit and do business.

“This work will significantly reduce our highways maintenance backlog over the coming years, and as such, is an important component in the on-going regeneration and development of our city.”

Merseytravel and bus operators have been consulted to minimise disruption to public transport during the work.

The other major routes in poor condition to be tackled between now and next April as part of the initiative are:

• Islington and surrounding roads
• Smithdown Road (from Gainsborough Road to Queens Drive)
• Ullet Road (from Smithdown Road to Croxteth Gate)

Liverpool City Council is using capital resources such as borrowing and receipts from sale of assets to fund the work. Capital resources cannot be spent on revenue costs of day-to day Council services such as salaries. Money spent on assets such as roads help to reduce the ongoing annual revenue maintenance costs of highways in future years. In household terms, capital expenditure is similar to borrowing through a mortgage or loan to buy a house or car that will last for more than one year.

The city council will also seek to identify sources of additional private and other public sector funding, including utility companies, throughout the programme, to help finance the work.

Cabinet Member for Highways, Councillor Malcom Kennedy, said: “This is the start of a programme of work which is hugely important for Liverpool.

“Our highways network has been in desperate need of investment for many years and the commitment we have made will make a big difference to tens of thousands of motorists and cyclists who use them.

“This investment will be welcomed by motorists who have demanded that something is done to improve the condition of our roads. We have listened, and we are taking action.”

The city council is looking at improving provision for cyclists as part of the initiative, including toucan crossings, links to the cycle network, cycle lanes and advanced stop lines.

Currently, the city council receives approximately £3.5m each year from central government for the maintenance of its highways, including carriageways, footways, street lighting, and highway structures – funding which only enables it to tackle 0.6 percent of the 1561km which make up the total highways network. This annual funding will be directed towards the on-going maintenance of roads not included in the £80m investment programme, such as unclassified roads, and B and C roads.