A NEW £60 million junction is to be built between junctions 11 and 12 on the M56 in Runcorn, Highways England confirmed today.

The new junction 11a on the M56 will play a vital role in supporting the region’s economy by providing a new link to the Mersey Gateway bridge between Runcorn and Widnes and improving local access to the motorway.

It is set to cut congestion and improve journey times.

Tim Gamon, Highways England’s regional delivery director for the north west, said: “The new junction on the M56 will benefit local residents by taking traffic away from residential areas as well as providing a new route to the Mersey Gateway bridge – an important new link between Cheshire and Merseyside.”

The junction will link to a new crossroads for the A533 Southern Expressway and Murdishaw Avenue, north of the motorway.

The crossroads will replace the existing roundabout and be controlled by traffic lights which will use sensors in the road to respond to changes in traffic levels.

Detailed designs for this major road project will now be developed with construction work due to start by spring 2020.

Funding is being provided as part of the government’s £15 billion Road Investment Strategy.

Planners believe it will help boost the Northern Powerhouse by improving transport connectivity and reliability to help the economy in the north.