Work has just started on a multi-million pound M58 improvement scheme in Sefton.

The project involves the construction of the ‘missing’ slip roads at Junction 1 of the busy motorway, providing a northbound off slip and a southbound on-slip.

As well as improving journey times between Maghull and North Liverpool, it is hoped the scheme will reduce traffic on the A59 and some residential roads and facilitate potential future development in the Maghull area.

Sefton Council received an offer of funding from the Liverpool City Region Local Growth Fund for £5.5m toward the scheme in 2016 which was formally approved a year later at Sefton Council’s Planning Committee.

Early in 2017, Sefton Council appointed John Sisk and Sons to complete the design and construction of the scheme. They appointed Atkins Ltd as their design partner.

Works began on site on May 20 with the early activities include the construction of the site compound and farm access track for the benefit of Guest Farm. Once this exercise is completed, the section of Giddygate Lane parallel to the motorway will be stopped up as per the Order granted in 2018. Works will then be focussed on the earthworks associated with the slip roads.

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services, said: “It’s great news to hear that initial work has started on this important scheme.

“Once complete we believe it will really improve the junction by providing additional slip lane facilities to accommodate all possible traffic movements.

“It will also support commercial and residential development in Maghull, increasing employment and facilitating new, more accessible development helping Sefton remain ‘open for business’.”

Sisk’s Managing Director for UK Civils, Paul Brown, said: “We have been working closely with Sefton Council since early 2017 to design and develop this project. We are delighted that it has now started on site.

“We are committed to delivering this project to a high standard and on time, and will be working with the local communities and stakeholders to ensure we leave a positive legacy.”

If the scheme goes to programme, then the new slip roads should be open and operational by Spring 2020.

Bruce Parker, North West Head of Planning & Development at Highways England, said: “The M58 provides a vital motorway link from Merseyside to connect businesses, families and friends across the north of England and beyond.

“We’re pleased that work has now started on the new slip roads at junction 1, which will help to improve the flow of traffic and provide quicker and more reliable journeys for drivers.”

For more information on the scheme visit www.sefton.gov.uk or follow us on Twitter and Facebook for regular updates and progress. Sisk will provide regular updates on Twitter @M58J1.