Liverpool’s Rocket plan has been given a huge boost by the Department of Transport with a £120m plan to radically redesign the Rocket junction.
The Rocket Junction scheme has been approved to progress to the next stage of development under the Major Road Network (MRN) and Large Local Majors (LLM) programme.
To help the scheme progress to the next stage, the Department is to make a contribution of £1.23 million towards the costs of developing an Outline Business Case (OBC).
Transport for the North had included Liverpool City Council’s scheme as one of four major projects within a £700m programme of works that have been identified as critical to the economic growth of the north of England.
The draft proposals for the major upgrade to the Rocket Junction would include the demolition of the existing Queens Drive Flyover and replacing it with a new roundabout, featuring a dual lane underpass.
The Rocket Junction is the busiest in Liverpool city region with over 100,000 vehicles travelling through it every day. It connects the start of the M62, with the A5080 and the A5058 Queens Drive.
Due to increasing traffic, the junction is currently functioning at full capacity in the morning and evening peak hours, and this is expected to deteriorate even further in the next five years.
Liverpool City Council has recently declared a Climate Change emergency and sees the scheme as a huge part of its programme to reduce congestion and air pollution in the city.
Physical signs of weakness in the Queens Drive Viaduct have prompted investigations which indicate that significant investment is needed to upgrade the structure.
The Rocket Junction Upgrade project will reduce congestion and improve the length and reliability of journey times. The design will be developed to enhance road safety and improve connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists with a more pleasant, greener environment for all users.
The bid to the Department for Transport is for £92m with Liverpool City Council contributing the remainder via its £500m Better Roads programme. If approved, it is anticipated works for the scheme would begin in 2023.