The Mersey Gateway Project

The route of the Mersey Gateway will run from Junction 12 of the M56 in the south to the A562 Speke Road in Widnes in the north.

Whilst only the bridges themselves will be tolled, the Mersey Gateway Project involves making a number of changes and improvements to the existing road network in Widnes and Runcorn.

The map below shows the route of the project and you can use the menu below to find more detail of the project’s plans in different areas of Halton.

Project-map-782x1024

The Mersey Gateway Bridge

The new bridge will run north west to south east across the River Mersey, crossing from Widnes, heading south west across the estuary towards Astmoor Industrial Estate in Runcorn.

The new bridge, which will have three lanes of traffic travelling across the river in each direction, will cross St Helens Canal, Widnes Warth Saltmarsh, Astmoor Saltmarsh and Wigg Island, as well as the Mersey Estuary itself, before turning southwards over the Manchester Ship Canal and across Astmoor Industrial Estate on the southern side of the river. Here, it will join with the existing Central Expressway.

The Silver Jubilee Bridge

The Mersey Gateway Project will reduce the volume of traffic crossing the Silver Jubilee Bridge by directing the natural movement of through traffic over the new crossing, a process known as ‘delinking’.

This will free up the Silver Jubilee Bridge so it can provide a local link across the river between Widnes and Runcorn.

The Mersey Gateway team is currently consulting with its broad range of stakeholders to look at the best way of remodelling the Silver Jubilee Bridge, but it will be quicker to cross, safer, cleaner and more reliable.

This is likely to include:

  • dedicated space for pedestrians and cyclists
  • improved public transport between the town centres of Runcorn and Widnes

It is proposed that two access roads connecting the Silver Jubilee Bridge with the regional road network in Widnes will be removed. They are:

  • the A533 Queensway between the Silver Jubilee Bridge and Speke Roundabout Interchange (A562)
  • the link between the Silver Jubilee Bridge and the A557 Widnes Eastern Bypass.
Widnes Road network

The northern end of the Mersey Gateway road system starts to the north west of Widnes, along the existing A562 Speke Road to and from Liverpool.

The route then heads eastwards towards a new junction called the Ditton Junction, which will replace Ditton roundabout.

This will link the A562 Speke Road with the remodelled A533 (Queensway) towards the Silver Jubilee Bridge.

It will be the main junction for local traffic to access the Mersey Gateway Bridge. Traffic will also be able to access the other local roads currently flowing on to Ditton roundabout.

The route then progresses across the land currently occupied by the industrial units either side of Ditton Road, and heads over the Garston to Timperley rail freight line, before crossing the route of the existing A557 Widnes Eastern Bypass, Catalyst Trade Park and the western corner of the ThermPhos Chemical Works.

A new roundabout – Widnes Loops – will be created to let traffic flow between the new bridge and the A557, giving an easy access route to and from the eastern side of Widnes.  The route would then head south east over St. Helens Canal and on to the new bridge.

Elsewhere in the town, it is proposed that two access roads connecting the Silver Jubilee Bridge with the regional road network in Widnes will be removed. They are:

  • the A533 Queensway between the Silver Jubilee Bridge and Speke Roundabout Interchange (A562)
  • the link between the Silver Jubilee Bridge and the A557 Widnes Eastern Bypass.
Runcorn road network

Bridgewater Junction

This junction will be remodelled so that the free-flowing traffic runs from north to south, i.e. from the Mersey Gateway Bridge to the Central Expressway and vice versa.

A new flyover will be built to provide an uninterrupted link between the Mersey Gateway Bridge and the Central Expressway.

Traffic using the Bridgewater and Daresbury Expressways would travel underneath the flyover and through a new junction. From here it will be able to access the Mersey Gateway/Central Expressway route.

M56 Junction 12 improvements

Junction 12 of the M56 is located to the south west of Runcorn, just south of Rocksavage.  The junction forms a key interchange between the M56 and the borough of Halton.

Improvements will be made to the roundabouts at either side of the motorway.  A route will be provided through the centre of the existing roundabout to improve traffic flows from the Weston Point Expressway to the Junction 12 link road.  This will remain as a traffic light controlled junction.