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.
Mr 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 two 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 two 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 two vessels carrying the equivalent of 13,000 containers each.
The minister was driven along the A5036 today and viewed the two options to upgrade access to the port.
- Upgrading the existing road focusing on four 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.
Carl Stockton, project manager at Highways England, added: “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.