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Windle Island Improvements

The Windle Island junction improvement scheme gets underway later this year – with the aim of cutting congestion and significantly improving safety for everyone using it.

Standing at the intersection of the A580 (East Lancashire Road) and A570 (Rainford Bypass), it’s a junction that handles high volumes of traffic. Without improvement, it will continue to restrict vehicle, cycle and pedestrian movement – as well as the region’s economic growth.

The proposed scheme will reduce the number of ‘conflict points’ and create additional capacity.

The junction’s strategic significance has been underlined by funding worth £232 million from the Liverpool City Region Growth Deal.
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Specifically, the project will see:

  1. Controlled pedestrian crossings on all arms of the junctions (including Toucan “Cycling” crossings on the southern and eastern arms) using the latest energy efficient traffic signal equipment.  These will improve pedestrian and cycle safety.
  2. Two dedicated right turn lanes from the A580 westbound (towards Liverpool) onto the A570 northbound (towards Rainford).  This will reduce queue lengths.
  3. Measures to prevent vehicles exiting the Tesco Express via the A580 from turning right onto the A570 northbound, due to regular lane blocking of the westbound lanes of the A580.  This will reduce congestion and improve safety.
  4. Two dedicated left turn lanes from the A570 southbound (towards St Helens) onto the A580 eastbound (towards Manchester).  This will reduce queue lengths.
  5. Reintroduction of two dedicated ahead lanes through the junction on the A570 southwards (towards St Helens).  This will significantly reduce queue lengths and congestion.
  6. New restrictions at the junction of the A570 Rainford Bypass with the B5201 Crank Road to allow vehicles leaving Crank Road to only turn left onto the Rainford Bypass.  This will improve safety.
  7. The introduction of linked traffic signals at the junction of the A570 Rainford Bypass with the B5201 Crank Road to control the movement of vehicles into and out of Crank Road.  This will improve safety.
  8. Closure of existing junction of the A570 Rainford Bypass with Rainford Road and replacement with a new junction located approximately 140m further to the north along the A570 Rainford Bypass, which will include deceleration/acceleration lanes.  This will improve safety.
  9. New left turn deceleration lane from A580 westbound onto A570 southbound.  This will reduce queue lengths and improve safety.

Windle Island junction improvement work to commence next month

Motorists who use the A580 (East Lancs Road) and A570 (Rainford By Pass) are warned to expect delays when junction improvement works commence at Windle Island early next month (August).  

Starting on Monday 6 August, the work at Windle Island – one of Merseyside’s busiest road junctions   – will result in improved pedestrian safety, smoother traffic flow, and better access in and out of St Helens.

During the work, which is will be carried out by Balfour Beatty and will take 40 weeks to complete, permanent lane closures will be in place day and night which is likely to cause delays – therefore it is recommended that motorists avoid the area, if possible.

Costing £7,247,000 – over half of which will be funded by the Liverpool City Region Growth Fund and the rest from capital receipts, prudential borrowing and highways capital programme – the Windle Island Junction Improvement Scheme was approved by the Liverpool City Region (LCR) Combined Authority following a successful business case submission to address key issues in St Helens, and to support economic growth in the wider City Region.

Commenting on the scheme, St Helens Council Leader Derek Long believes the long- term gain will outweigh the pain of temporary traffic disruptions.

“I appreciate that residents and road users  will see this work as an inconvenience but the simple fact is that the existing junction is struggling to cope with the tens of thousands of vehicles that pass through on a day-to-day basis,” said Councillor Long.

“Not only will these improvements benefit local people and motorists, they will also safeguard future capacity in our road network to support the growth of the borough, providing improved access to key sites such as the Haydock Industrial Site and the Superport in the wider City Region.”

Central to the improvements will be:

  • A new four lane southbound approach to Windle Island Junction, providing a dedicated left turning lane to A580 eastbound towards Manchester and a dedicated right turning lane to A580 westbound towards Liverpool.
  • The reintroduction of two lanes southbound through the junction, with the left hand lane for St Helens Town Centre via Rainford Road (including Tesco and Starbucks access), and the right hand lane for Eccleston and Prescot via Bleak Hill Road.
  • A new left turn deceleration lane from A580 westbound onto A570 southbound to reduce queue lengths and improve safety.
  • Two dedicated right turn lanes from the A580 westbound (towards Liverpool) onto the A570 northbound (towards Rainford). This will reduce queue lengths.
  • A new 40 mph speed limit around the junction to improve safety.

The whole scheme is expected to be completed by spring 2019.