A major upgrade to roads around the Port of Liverpool will help boost economic growth and deliver a Northern Powerhouse, Roads Minister Andrew Jones said today (16 May 2016).
The minister viewed plans to reduce congestion on the A5036 and help deliver thousands of jobs across the region.
The Liverpool2 port development is expected to create 1,000 new jobs in the area and could create up to 5,000 more in the wider supply chain, according to Peel Port who run the site. An upgrade to roads will give a further boost to the maritime sector which employs around 25,000 people across the city.
Roads Minister Andrew Jones said:
We are determined to improve access to the Port of Liverpool so we can deliver a Northern Powerhouse by creating new jobs and an economic boost to the region.
We have 2 options to upgrade the roads around the port and it is important we choose the right one for the community. I welcome Highways England’s commitment to find the right one for Liverpool.
The government is also improving rail access to the port and will be adding a second line on the Bootle to Port link, increasing the line speed and improving signalling at Earlestown West.
All these schemes are scheduled to be complete by 2018 to 2019 and will double the number of trains that can enter the port every day to 48 – or 2 per hour.
The Port of Liverpool can currently handle vessels that carry up to 4,000 containers that are 20 foot long, but needs to be able to handle some of the world’s largest vessels so they can compete in the global race.
The new development will allow it to simultaneously handle 2 vessels carrying the equivalent of 13,000 containers each.
The minister was driven along the A5036 today and viewed the 2 options to upgrade access to the port. They are:
- upgrading the existing road focusing on 4 junctions at; Hawthorne Road, Netherton Way, Park Lane and Copy Lane
- building a new road through the Rimrose Valley linking to the Broom’s Cross Road (Thornton to Switch Island Link)
Warren Marshall, Group Planning Director at Peel Ports, said:
We welcome the Road Minister’s commitment to improving access to the Port of Liverpool, especially as we approach the opening of Liverpool2, our £300 million deep-water container terminal. Upgraded road connections are essential but it’s also important to recognise the benefits of other modes.
Our new biomass terminal has the potential to handle up to 3 million tonnes of wood pellets for transport by rail to Drax Power Station in Yorkshire eliminating the equivalent of 200,000 HGV movements per annum.
We are also committed to coastal shipping links to Dublin and Glasgow and our Manchester Ship Canal all-water freight service has experienced a 10-fold increase in containers handled to 30,000 since it was launched in 2007 with potential for up to 100,000. Road, rail and water connections will, together, create the corridors necessary for moving freight efficiently.
Carl Stockton, Project Manager at Highways England, said:
The A5036 is the main route between the motorway network and the Port of Liverpool, and is used by thousands of vehicles every day.
We’re committed to keeping businesses, residents and drivers informed as our plans develop for the route. We held a series of public events earlier in the year and are planning to launch a formal consultation in the autumn.
Highways England is currently selecting options for upgrading the roads around the port, and a consultation is expected in autumn 2016. The current forecast is for works to start in spring 2020.
Following the visit to the Port of Liverpool, the minister travelled to Ellesmere Port to see how construction work is progressing on a new £75 million biodiesel fuel production facility. The plant being built by Argent Energy, will convert waste fats, oils and grease – which are often washed down the drain and block sewers - into renewable transport fuels.
The site, which is the first of its kind in Europe, will process up to 250,000 tonnes of waste into around 85 million litres of biodiesel a year, equivalent to around 800 million miles of carbon-free travel. Biodiesel made from waste produce 90% fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels.
The government’s Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation is helping to stimulate this kind of investment by requiring major oil companies to include some low carbon renewable fuels mixed in to regular petrol and diesel. The government will consult on proposals to further support the growing biofuels industry later this year.