Knowsley Council has announced an investment of £5.3 million to improve the Knowsley Expressway and Speke Road junction. The A5300 Access and Connectivity Improvements Scheme, will be the second major transport initiative to be delivered in the Liverpool City Region following the devolution of funding from the Department for Transport. The first scheme is currently in progress at Knowsley Business Park. In 2014 the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership secured a total of £232m of Local Growth Fund from the Growth Plan that was submitted to Government. The Local Growth Fund is providing £3.969 million towards this new scheme, which will be topped up with an additional £1.385 million investment from Knowsley Council. The A5300 Knowsley Expressway and A562 Speke Road provide a crucial link to key established and developing sites such as the 3MG Mersey Multi-Modal Gateway, the Mersey Gateway Project, Liverpool John Lennon Airport, Getrag and Jaguar Land Rover and their supplier park. The investment will focus on improvements to the junction of the A5300 and A562 to reduce sever congestion during peak times and to ensure the junction can meet current and future demand to support economic growth. These transport improvements are complementary to the Local Pinch Point scheme completed in December 2014, which has successfully addressed former congestion issues on the other carriage way at the junction. Cllr Mike Murphy, Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development said: “The junction at the Knowsley Expressway and Speke Road is one of the most important transport links for Knowsley and for the Liverpool City Region. But at the moment it is also one of the most heavily congested. These major improvements will help to relieve congestion problems, making it easier and faster to transport goods and people. It will also ensure that the junction is future proof and can cope with more traffic as a result of ongoing and proposed developments in the area. Knowsley’s location and connectivity is a key part of what makes us so appealing to businesses. Creating a reliable transport network is essential to ensure we can grow and meet future increases in demand for Knowsley and the Liverpool City Region.” Robert Hough Chair of the Liverpool City Region LEP welcomed the investment and said: “Public sector spending on infrastructure to improve connectivity has been shown to act as a catalyst in securing private sector investment, business success and economic growth. Our Growth Plan identified this particular improvement scheme as it directly supports our freight and logistics ambitions, helping us play our part in unlocking the potential of the ‘Northern Powerhouse’. I & H Brown Limited has been awarded the contact for the work which will start 18 January 2016. The areas of work include: Adding a continuous flow left slip lane from the A562 (eastbound) to the A5300 (northbound) Widening the A5300 (southbound) approach to accommodate a third lane into a free flow left off slip at a distance beyond the required queue capacity of two ahead lanes; Extending the length of the left turn lane from the A562 (westbound) into Newstead Road; and Installing queue detectors on the south approach to junction (Newstead Road) which provides access to land currently under development. View plans of the work – Plan 1 and Plan 2. As with all investment on this scale, it is inevitable that some disruption will be caused. However, this will be kept to an absolute minimum. There will be overnight lane closures of the A562 Speke Road westbound exit slip road to its roundabout junction with the A5300 and both carriageways of the A5300 Knowsley Expressway from 10pm to 5pm pn Monday 18, Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 January. The diversion route for vehicles affected by the closure will be via the M62, A557 Watkinson Way, A557 Queensway, A562 Ashley Way, A562 Speke Road, as shown on this plan. In addition, the free flow slip that connects the southbound A5300 carriageway to the A562 Speke Road will be closed for the duration of the works. To minimise disruption, two lanes will be maintained on the A5300 southbound approach to the roundabout and the signal timings will be modified.