A plan to upgrade The Rocket junction at the end of the M62 is to be paused to examine how it could be altered to better encourage greener modes of travel.
The proposal, first announced in 2019, looked at demolishing the existing Queens Drive Flyover and replacing it with a new roundabout, featuring a dual-lane underpass.
The aim was to address poor air quality around the Rocket Junction, which is the busiest in Liverpool city region with over 100,000 vehicles travelling through it every day.
However, since its inception, there have been significant changes to both local and national policy objectives.
As a result, Liverpool City Council has been reviewing its previous commitments, to ensure they align to the city’s new vision and objectives outlined in the City Plan, as well as national transport policy objectives.
The council has now requested that the Department for Transport allow additional time to re-evaluate the scheme, to examine how it could transform the way people move around and through the area, while also improving traffic flow and cutting congestion.
The re-evaluation will include a look at how the scheme could:
- Support active travel and in turn improve air quality.
- Deliver public transport improvements to, and parking at, Broadgreen station to encourage motorists to ‘park and ride’ into the city centre.
- Support and enable a proposed green bus corridor on the A57, which runs parallel to the route.
Councillor Dan Barrington, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, said, “So much has changed since this scheme was originally commissioned, and this is an opportune moment to look at it with a fresh pair of eyes.
“The pandemic has altered commuting patterns, with employers moving to a more flexible work pattern for staff and people not necessarily travelling into the office every day.
“Crucially, as an administration we are now viewing every decision we make through the Mayor’s Triple Lock of the impact on people, planet and equality.
“We have declared a climate emergency so we have to look at ways in which we can use this scheme to encourage people not to drive into the city centre, adding to congestion and air pollution. Other cities operate successful Park and Ride schemes into the centre from the outskirts, and we should have the same ambition.
“It is right that we stop to take a breath now, and see whether we can make changes and improvements to link it up with greener and more active modes of transport.
“This is a scheme that will have its impact felt for decades ahead, and within that context we are taking a relatively short period of time to review the scheme, which could pay dividends in the longer term.”