WARRINGTON South MP Faisal Rashid has welcomed news that the £212 million Western Link will be built.

The controversial bypass – which is planned to tackle congestion and unlock land for development – will go ahead after the Government approved funding for the scheme.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling confirmed the Government will put £142.5 million towards the project yesterday, Wednesday, with Warrington Borough Council to contribute £70.2 million.

The Government says thousands of new jobs and homes could be created as a result of the cash injection for the scheme.

It also expects it to open up land for development for up to 24,000 new homes, along with delivering major employment opportunities including jobs at Port Warrington.

While backing the bid for the new road, Mr Rashid says any funding for it should be ‘in no way reliant’ upon Port Warrington.

The Labour politician insists he is strongly opposed to proposals for Port Warrington, which he believes offer no benefits for the town.

Mr Rashid said: “I am delighted to hear that our town will be receiving significant funding from the Department for Transport for the Warrington Western Link.

“Infrastructural investment on this scale is long overdue in Warrington.

“Since my election, one of the greatest concerns raised with me by my constituents has been about the need for better road infrastructure and the urgent need to act to tackle the intolerable problems we have with traffic congestion.

“There are limited crossing points on the River Mersey and Manchester Ship Canal, as well as a boundary of frequently congested major motorway networks.

“Combined with the constituency’s growth, this has resulted in chronic traffic congestion and poor air quality.”

Mr Rashid also had a fresh dig at the Government following a U-turn on a 2015 pledge to give Warrington motorists free crossings on the Mersey Gateway Bridge.

He said: “Former Conservative Chancellor George Osborne promised us that the Mersey Gateway would be toll-free for our town.

“But his Conservative Government’s U-turn on this issue let us all down and plunged Warrington South into further congestion misery.

“I continue to fight for the toll to be scrapped but, sadly, to date Conservative ministers have failed to act on the concerns raised by me and my constituents.

“As it stands, our roads are not fit for purpose and the problems we have with congestion are only set to get worse.

“I gave my backing to the council’s bid for the Warrington Western Link because I felt it would offer our town real solutions to the congestion – long-term solutions that will help future generations.

“The Warrington Western Link will hugely benefit residents in west Warrington and south of the Ship Canal by significantly improving connectivity between these areas.

“The link will also free up brownfield sites for housing, helping to protect green belt land from development.”

Transport for the North’s major roads director Peter Molyneux also welcomed the Government’s funding decision.

He said: “We would like to congratulate our partners in Warrington, who today secured £142.5million for the Western Link road.

“The project includes a new Mersey crossing and will open up access to the Port of Warrington – providing local employment opportunities.

“The new road will also reduce congestion and provide access to land for new homes.

“The link road is identified in our infrastructure pipeline as an important investment in the north’s major road network and is a great example of investment in transport delivering wider social and economic benefits.”