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Issue:- 31 March/01 April 2010

Roadworks lifted for Easter bank holiday

UK road users travelling on the 9534 carriageway miles of England’s motorways and major A roads over the Easter bank holiday will benefit from the suspension or completion of 60% of roadworks by the Highways Agency to help drivers make smoother journeys over the Easter weekend.

A total of 74 sets of roadworks are due to be completed and a further 60 are due to be suspended before 06:00 on Thursday, 1 April 2010. Roadworks at 40 locations will remain in place for the safety of drivers and their passengers.

During the 2009 to 2010 financial year, the Highways Agency has been delivering its usual programme of maintenance and improvements to the strategic road network as well as delivering the Government's fiscal stimulus initiative, which brought forward some £400m of additional investment in the road network as part of a wider package of measures to help kick start the UK economy and help secure jobs in the construction industry.

By carrying out this work, there have been more roadwork schemes on the Motorways and major A roads than in previous years as the funding has enabled the early commencement of a number of schemes to facilitate the delivery of the managed motorways programme and bring forward other major improvements. Despite experiencing delays to roadworks caused by the most prolonged and severe winter in the UK for the last 30 years, the Highways Agency is committed to keeping any disruption caused by these improvements to an absolute minimum which is why we are lifting 60% of roadworks this Easter.

The move is part of the Highways Agency’s commitment to ease congestion, helping drivers to make their journeys safely and reliably.

For many areas of the country, Thursday sees the start of the school holidays and the Easter bank holiday weekend. This means that fewer families will be able to plan an early getaway and more people can be expected on the roads on Thursday evening and during Good Friday.

Derek Turner, the Highways Agency’s Director for Network Delivery and Development, said:- “Over the Easter bank holiday, many people will be using our motorways and major A roads to begin their family holiday or get away for a long weekend. We wish to thank road users for their patience while we have been delivering these additional works which have been part of the Government’s package of measures to help secure jobs in the construction industry. We wish to reassure the travelling public that the Highways Agency is lifting as many roadworks as is safe and practical to do so for this Easter bank holiday. Removing roadworks is just one way we help road users during bank holidays. Our Traffic Officer Service will be on patrol and working in our control centres to help traffic flow smoothly and we will continue to provide up to the minute journey planning advice though our website, electronic road signs and the media.”

Roadworks and lane restrictions will be removed by 06:00am on Thursday, 1 April 2010 and will not be put back before 00:01am on Tuesday 6 April 2010.

But be warned, not all have been removed, as in the North West region, the following remain in place:-

Scheme – M6 Lodge Lane Bridge Improvements
Nearest Road/Town Newton-le-Willows
Reason for non removal – Incomplete carriageway
Speed Limit – 50mph
Delays- Nil to Slight

Scheme – M62 J11-12 Central Reserve Concrete Barrier Scheme
Nearest Road/Town- Irlam
Reason for non removal – Incomplete barrier and open excavations
Speed Limit – 50mph
Delays- Nil to Slight

Scheme – Repair M62 Junction 21-22 Safety Fence
Nearest Road/Town - Irlam
Reason for non removal – Incomplete central reserve
Speed Limit – 50mph
Delays- Nil to slight

Scheme – A56 Bent Gate to Hud Hey Roadworks and Structures
Nearest Road/Town - Haslingden
Reason for non removal – Safety fence incomplete
Speed Limit – 50mph
Delays- Nil to Slight

Scheme – A585 Breedy Butts Bridge Strenghtening, Painting & Deck Refurbishment.
Nearest Road/Town -Thornton
Reason for non removal – Incomplete structure
Speed Limit – 30mph
Delays- Nil to Slight

You can keep up-to-date with all the traffic information via our group website:-

Charity Salsa night to be held for Chile

ON Friday, 9 April 2010, DJ Irmita (Chile) presents a Charity Salsa Night For Chile, with DJ Irmita. The night will be held at the RAFA Club, Freshfeild, from 8pm until 12.30pm. Beginners Salsa Class with Irmita start at 8pm and run until 9pm, then it is non stop dancing until 12.30!!! Admission £5 includes class. For tickets call The RAFA Club on 01704 871925 or phone DJ Irmita on:- 0775 346 89 87. You can also email them for more information via:- or go to the groups website.

Full address of the location is as follows:- The RAFA Club, Victoria Road, Freshfeild, Formby, Merseyside, L37 1LG, UK.

Major Tunnels Investment

MERSEYTRAVEL is to invest more than £5 million in improvements and upgrades to the two Mersey Tunnels.  This includes resurfacing the Kingway Tunnel roadway, recladding the inside of the Queensway Tunnel and replacing some 6,000 lights.  Neil Scales, chief executive of Merseytravel, said:- “This work is essential and will maintain the reputation of tunnels as being among the safest in Europe.  It will be the biggest maintenance operation we have undertaken in the tunnels for more than a decade and will mean a number of night closures but we will keep disruption to a minimum. The work has been planned to avoid congestion when there are special events.  The results will be that for motorists using the Kingsway there will be a smoother ride and the Queensway will be brighter, cleaner and more attractive to drive through.”  Week-end work on resurfacing the Kingsway begins later this month with closure of the northbound tube from 7pm Friday evening until 6:30am Monday mornings.  The following weekend the Southbound tube will be closed and there will in all a total of 26 week-end closures with contraflow systems in operation.  Closures will normally start at 7pm but will be delayed until 11pm on football match nights.  Work on cladding the Queensway Tunnel is due to start in May and night closures will initially be for four nights a week.  Mr Scales explained:- ”The existing cladding has come to the end of it's useful economic life, and had always proved difficult to clean. The new cladding will be much easier to clean and will improve the reflected light within the tunnel.”

Full details of the closures will be posted on the Mersey Tunnels website at:-

Clegg sets out road to recovery with national business manifesto launch

NICK Clegg has launched the Liberal Democrats' national 'Enterprise in a Fair Society' business manifesto, which sets out the Party's pledges to business, at the Daresbury Innovation Centre.

With the start of the General Election expected to be only days away, the business manifesto brings together policies designed to rebuild the economy and rebalance it away from an over-reliance on funding from the City of London. The business manifesto backs easier access to local investment funds for innovative new businesses amongst a number of key proposals.

Dr Jo Crotty, Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Warrington South, will be calling for Warrington to be considered as a home to one of a new network of Regional Stock Exchanges when she visits the Daresbury Innovation Centre with Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg MP.

The Manifesto lays out plans for a new network of Regional Stock Exchanges and the creation of Local Enterprise Funds to bring together local equity investors and small and medium sized businesses that are looking to expand.

The Daresbury Innovation Centre has attracted nearly 100 innovative small businesses since 2006. The businesses benefit from working in a cluster of firms that are creating new products and services across a wide range of fields.

Dr Crotty, a university economics lecturer, said:- "If we are to put the North West back on the road to recovery it is vital, with banks still reeling from the credit crunch, that small businesses like Calon Associates and BioEDEN - that I will be visiting with Nick Clegg - have good access to equity share funds from investors in our area. During the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century many commercial centres had local stock exchanges to create a market for local equity funds.  In the 21st century the trading floor is likely to be virtual but it is more vital than ever to bring together innovative small businesses with informed local investors in an efficient way.  The proposal could see a network of local listings that create an equity share market for each of the region's main business centres giving an alternative to bank debt for the North West's small and medium sized businesses as we come out of the downturn."

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