ROAD closures at Ditton junction on the approach to the new Mersey Gateway could cause delays and disruption.

Major roadworks start on Monday, April 10 and last for around three weeks, it was announced this evening.

The majority of the work will take place at weekends and evenings to minimise disruption.

No work will take place over the Easter weekend.

The closures are required for piling works, gantry installation and trench crossings to lay utility cables across Speke Road.

Hugh O’Connor, general manager of the Merseylink Consortium, said: “Anyone who drives along this route will be very familiar with the diversions we are using and will know that there is some disruption to traffic while we build the link road to the new bridge.

“We’re working hard to minimise the closure periods and schedule the works outside of busy times so we’d just ask everyone using the route to drive carefully and safely through the area.”

The on off slip roads from Speke Road will be closed from 7.30pm to 5am each day and from 9.30pm on Fridays to 6am on Mondays.

Only one of the slip roads will be closed at a time to minimise the impact on traffic.

Ditton Road west will be opened up to two-way traffic throughout the roadworks to minimise congestion and improve access for businesses operating in and around the 3MG site and the Ditton Road area.

The southbound diversion, for traffic heading towards Widnes and Runcorn, will run along Everite Road and Marshgate before joining Hale Road and then Ditton Road.

The northbound diversion will see traffic coming from the Silver Jubilee Bridge diverted along Ditton Road to re-join Speke Road further west.

There is significant ongoing work already taking place in the area.

From around mid-May Ditton Road will return to being a westbound only route while work continues in the area to reconfigure the connecting routes around Ditton Junction.

When work is complete in this area and the new bridge opens later in the year, Speke Road will be linked directly to the new Mersey Gateway Bridge and traffic will be able to travel uninterrupted across the River Mersey.

Halton Council leader Cllr Rob Polhill said: “I’m pleased that these works are being scheduled for times when there will be less traffic on the roads so fewer people will be inconvenienced by any delays.

“The new route will mean quicker, easier and more reliable journeys over the river in Halton and we are all looking forward to the new bridge opening later this year.”