Planned improvements to the road network around Runcorn Station could open up new development opportunities according to Halton Council.
The local authority has submitted a planning application for the works which, if approved, would enhance connectivity between the station and the town centre.
The Mersey Gateway Bridge, which has now been open for a year, has enabled the closure of the Silver Jubilee Bridge for its ongoing renovation as well as the proposed additional improvements.
Halton Council suggests the improved connectivity of the area as well as the increased visibility of the town centre could pave the way for future projects such as new leisure facilities, housing and business space.
Work currently underway on the Silver Jubilee Bridge, which closed in October 2017, includes repairs along the arch of the structure, as well as an extensive programme of maintenance underneath.
The bridge, which is also being reconfigured to reduce the number of lanes from four to two and create a dedicated lane for cyclists, is due to be completed for a summer 2019 reopening for pedestrians and cyclists.
Driver access us expected to be completed in early 2020 as the planned improved road network on the approaches to the bridge will involve removal of some current infrastructure and the creation of a new roundabout to provide easier access to the town centre and Runcorn Station.
The project is part of a longer term vision to create a ‘gateway’ to Runcorn as part of a new Runcorn Station Quarter.
Councillor Rob Polhill, leader of Halton Council, says: “The opening of the Mersey Gateway has given us this huge opportunity not just to give the Silver Jubilee Bridge a much needed makeover, but to transform the area in front of Runcorn Station.
“We want people getting off the train at Runcorn Station to get a brilliant first impression of our town and for there to be new places for local people to live, work or enjoy. Doing this work now means we are in the best position possible to achieve these things moving forward.
“We know that local people are eager to see the Silver Jubilee Bridge open again, as we are, and we thank them for their continued patience, while we make these important improvements.”
Subject to planning approval, the road network improvements are expected to get underway in spring 2019.