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£3 million to improve journeys and safety at Switch Island

A total of £3 million is being invested to improve journeys and safety at one of the North West’s busiest motorway junctions.

Highways England has announced plans for major improvements to Switch Island in Merseyside, where the M57, M58 and 3 A roads all join together.

The scheme is being funded by the government’s £220 million congestion relief programme, which was announced by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling last month.

Construction work at the junction, which is used by over 90,000 vehicles every day, is expected to start next year.

The scheme is designed to improve the flow of traffic and enhance safety, following 49 collisions at the junction in the past 2 years.

New traffic lights will be installed at a height of over 5 metres – higher than HGVs and double-decker buses – so that drivers approaching the junction can clearly see when the lights are changing.

Other improvements will include changes to the road layout and lane markings, new barriers between carriageways, coloured high friction surfaces and better signs.

Bruce Parker, Asset Development Manager at Highways England, said:

“We’re delighted we’ve been able to secure funding from the government for this scheme, and can now carry out the detailed design and planning work before construction starts next year.

“The improvements we’re making at Switch Island will improve journeys and safety at the junction, benefitting the tens of thousands of drivers who travel through it every day.”

Jerry McConkey, Transportation and Highway Infrastructure Service Manager at Sefton Council, said:

“We’ve been working with Highways England and Merseyside Police over the last 12 months to investigate the issues at Switch Island and to develop these improvement proposals.

“It is great news that Highways England has secured this funding and we will continue working with them to improve the junction and make it safer for everyone using it.”

Tony Jones, Chief Inspector of Roads Policing at Merseyside Police, said:

“We welcome any improvements to the road infrastructure which assists drivers and makes the network safer for drivers and pedestrians.”

Four congestion relief schemes, worth £6.4 million, have already been announced in the North West, with a further £21 million set aside for other schemes in the region, including the Switch Island upgrade.

The four schemes will see improvements made to two junctions where the A595 meets the A66 in Cumbria, at Norcross roundabout on the A585 near Thornton-Cleveleys in Lancashire, and at junction 3 of the M55 near Kirkham in Lancashire.