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Transport Planning - Policy

The role of the Transport Planning Policy Team is to implement the Local Transport Plan (LTP) for Merseyside within the St Helens area.  The LTP is a joint plan required by central government and is produced by the six Merseyside Local Authorities and Merseytravel the Integrated Transport Authority for Merseyside.

The LTP sets out the Councils objectives, strategies and policies for transport.  It also details the transport schemes that will be delivered, together with the performance indicators that will be used to monitor progress.

The first LTP covered the period 2001-2006, with investment spent on transport improvements in St Helens including:

  • Blackbrook diversion- a £8.4 million 1 mile bypass;
  • £3 million regeneration of George Street Quarter;
  • £2.8 million of resurfacing and safety improvements along the A580; and
  • The new St. Helens Central rail station.

The second LTP for Merseyside covered the period 2006-2011 and was classed as ‘excellent’ by the Department for Transport. It included:

  • Continued improvements to road safety;
  • Road maintenance and street lighting;
  • Improvements to ease traffic and buses to and through St Helens;
  • Provision of additional park and ride spaces at stations;
  • Travel plans for all schools; and
  • Provision of safe walking and cycling routes.

The third LTP became active from April 2011.  The plan provides a long term strategy for how to improve transport in Merseyside up until 2024.

Transport Plan for Growth

The Liverpool City Region Authorities formed a Combined Authority on 1 April, 2014.  The Authority provides transparent and accountable strategic decision making for economic development, transport, strategic housing and employment and skills functions. It is focused entirely on strategic governance to facilitate economic growth.

A Transport Plan for Growth is a document that brings together the exiting Merseyside and Halton Local Transport Plans. It sets out the City Region's strategic vision and delivery plan for transport and also looks to foster greater collaborative working across the Combined Authority. A Transport Plan for Growth is closley aligned with the Government's high-level economic policy drivers of localism and devolution of power and growth. The Plan has a strategic direction for transport which supports growth, regeneration and carbon reduction.

Our transport priorities are:

Growth - this reflects our plans and aspiration for economic growth in the City Region
Low Carbon - describes our desire to see a clean, low emission and sustainable transport network
Access to Opportunity - refers to our work in supporting those who wish to access training, education and further learning and employment opportunities.

A Transport Plan for Growth is also clearly aligned with the Liverpool City Region Growth Plan and other emerging strategic plans. It sets out how £1.7 billion of transport and highways funding will be spent over the next six years.

The plan supports work being undertaken across the Liverpool City Region in the following areas:

  • Freight and Logistics
  • Housing and Land-use Planning
  • Economic Development and Regeneration
  • Employment and Skills
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Carbon Reduction and Air Quality
  • Connecting Communities
  • Visitor Economy

The way in which major transport schemes are administered has recently changed. The Department for Transport (DfT) has devolved funding for transport major schemes to local areas from 2015/16 in response to the Growth Plans that were developed by each Local Enterprise Partnership.

In July 2013, DfT announced that the Liverpool City Region was awarded a total of £23.79m from the Local Growth Fund to support the City Regions Major Transport Projects from 2015/16 to 2018/19. Following submission of the Liverpool City Region Growth Plan, it was announced that a further £232m was to be invested in the city region of which, £97.66m was allocated to agreed major transport schemes.

Within St Helens there are currently three Major Transport Schemes being progressed:

1. Windle Island

The scheme would improve the current junction at Windle Island with an upgrade of the current signalling and junction layout.

The scheme would see the establishment of controlled left turn links, signalised pedestrian and cycling crossing facilities at the junction and installation of SCOOT traffic system to optimise capacity. The junction is a key strategic point in the Liverpool City Region road network, being the crossing point of the A570 and A580 East Lancs Road (one of the main routes into Knowsley and Liverpool), as well as the B5201 crossing the junction.

The junction exceeds capacity daily, especially during peak periods leading to congestion as well as delay for motorist/bus services and freight. The scheme is identified within the third Local Transport Plan for Merseyside and is on the Strategic Freight Network for Merseyside.

2. A570 Southern Employment Corridor

The A570 Southern Employment Corridor Improvement scheme delivers highway junction capacity improvements and supports sustainable transport. The scheme supports the Councils strategy to develop this corridor as one of two major employment zones within St.Helens. The scheme will see the implementation of measures at the three roundabout junctions along the southern corridor between St. Helens Town Centre and the M62 Motorway A570/Eurolink, A570/Elton Head Road and A570/Scorecross Road.

3. Newton-le-Willows Interchange

This interchange will see significant investment at the existing rail station to provide passengers with improved facilities, easier access and better links between local, regional and national transport. It will further build on the improvements to services following the electrification of the line between Liverpool and Manchester and the introduction of new rolling stock by Northern Rail.

The scheme will include:

  • New South side entrance
  • Rail-Bus Interchange
  • 400+ space car park (including blue badge and wider spaces)
  • New ticket office
  • New toilet facilities
  • Improved passenger waiting facilities
  • Step free access to the platforms
  • Secure cycle parking
  • Dedicated drop off and pick up area

The whole scheme is due for completion in March 2018. Merseytravel is leading on the scheme and working closely with the Council, Network Rail and Northern Rail to ensure successful delivery.

For more detailed information on Major Transport schemes across the Liverpool City region please visit the Merseytravel website.