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Highways in St Helens earmarked for major investment

Journeys on St Helens Borough highways and transport network would become smoother and safer, under a new multi-million-pound investment package set to be discussed by local leaders this week.

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Article date: 3 March 2022

In a move to improve the region's roads, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is seeking to approve the indicative allocation of £232.96m from the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS), for a Highways Maintenance and Non-Maintenance package with St Helens Borough earmarked to receive £34.29m to deliver local schemes.

Focussing on key corridors, the proposed package represents a co-ordinated series of measures all designed to support public transport services, relieve congestion, and improve air quality for local communities.

The measures include carriageway resurfacing to improve the condition of the roads, drainage works to help prevent flooding, new streetlights.

Bus users, cyclists and pedestrians would also benefit as plans include upgrades to bus shelters, improved footways and cycleways, plus new pedestrian crossing schemes.

The proposals form part of Mayor Rotheram's plans for an integrated London-style transport network that makes the region's network easier to use, cheaper, quicker, and more reliable.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region said: "Our region's success is dependent on our people, and goods, being able to move quickly, safely, and efficiently. By investing in electric charging points and improved, future-proof infrastructure on the roads and transport network, we can ensure that our economy continues to accelerate forward as we rebuild from the pandemic.

"Ultimately, my vision is to create a modern, London-style public transport network. Not only will it make a huge difference to the lives of our residents, making their journeys cheaper, faster, and more reliable, but it would provide people with a genuinely viable alternative to their car.

"By choosing to travel on the bus or train, or even walking or cycling, we can significantly reduce traffic congestion on our roads - which will be vital for our region to hit our goal of being net zero carbon by 2040 at the latest."

Subject to approval, St Helens Borough Council will be delivering the works with more information about the schemes to be published at a later date.

Councillor Andy Bowden, St Helens Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said: "As a council we go to great lengths with the resources available to us to ensure our road network is maintained to as high a standard as possible for all road users.

"In the summer we'll be publishing our Highway Asset Management Strategy to set out how we plan to make the most of this City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement funding, which will ensure we continue to deliver the transport infrastructure improvements residents and businesses in our borough want to see.

"We are committed to creating a well-connected, safe and accessible transport and digital networks across the borough, whether you drive, cycle, walk or use public transport. As we have seen with recent completed sustainable travel schemes across St Helens - with more ongoing and in the pipeline - as we work to reduce carbon emissions as part of our climate emergency response and create safer communities, while supporting a thriving local economy by improving access to jobs and opportunities."

By contributing to improved transport access across the city region, this package of measures would in turn support growth as the benefits extend beyond transport, improving access to key sites in the city region for education, housing, health, and productivity.

The Combined Authority is due to consider this proposal at its meeting on Friday 4 March.