Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson pushes government to clea

Bill Esterson

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson is writing to government Ministers to urge them to clear the way for the long-awaited Thornton to Switch Island Link Road to finally get underway.


Following a request for an update on the project, Bill has now been told that the timeline for the work is being re-drawn because of ongoing negotiations regarding the transfer of land from government departments and agencies.


The Labour MP has been informed that the Relief Road now hinges on ongoing negotiations for the transfer of land owned by the Forestry Commission, the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and the Highways Agency.Bill fears any delay could seriously threaten the future of the project.


Bill said: "I have no doubt whatsoever that Sefton Council is fully committed to the Thornton-Switch Island Link Road project, but the delays are coming from government departments.


"We cannot allow the delays to threaten the scheme. 


"The Labour Action Teams, our local councillors and parish councillors and members of our local communities have fought too long and too hard to allow that to happen.


"While negotiations go on with the Forestry Commission, VOSA and the Highways Agency, there is the danger of the cost rising. And as we all know, funding is very hard to come by at the moment.


"We need to ensure that there are no further delays which lead to the project being shelved as a result of rising costs."


The Thornton-Switch Island Link Road was scheduled to get underway in autumn this year after the Tory-Lib Dem government finally reversed its original decision to shelve the scheme following the 2010 General Election.


Bill said the road will be a major boost to the economy of Sefton.


Bill said: "People in Sefton have been waiting for more than 40 years for this road to be built."The construction of the Thornton Relief Road is a major investment in the economy in Sefton for the short-term, as building the road will boost the construction industry, as well as improving the roads in the borough.


"I am concerned that the timetable for the project might be redrawn. We cannot allow any government agency or body to jeopardise this much-needed scheme.


"To ensure this doesn't happen I have written to the Transport Minister to urge him to cut the red tape and at long last get work on this road underway."

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