The government has finally decided to back the controversial new £209 million Mersey crossing project, ending years of speculation about the scheme.
Local campaigners have lobbied ministers tirelessly to build the Mersey Gateway link between Runcorn and Widnes in a bid to help traffic congestion on nearby bridges.
Last summer the crossing was one of a number of key regional schemes thought to be under threat following the 2012 Olympic Games victory and the ensuing drain of cash into east London (AJ 28.07.05).
The team behind the new toll bridge, led by consultant engineer Gifford and Partners, will now approach CABE for advice on whether to involve architects in the design process.
Announcing the decision, transport secretary Alistair Darling said: 'The proposed new bridge would bring significant benefits to the local communities of Runcorn and Widnes, improving access to key developments such as Liverpool John Lennon Airport and helping to support the continuing economic growth on Merseyside.' by Richard Waite