HIGHWAYS bosses will consider developing a new motorway junction to support extra traffic as a result of a new employment site at Omega.

The Omega site is situated on both sides of the M62 on part of the former Burtonwood airbase.

St Helens Council has allocated a major piece of land to Warrington under a ‘duty to co-operate’ after the latter’s emerging local plan was struggling to meet all of its employment land needs.

It will allocate 31 hectares of land adjoining the existing Omega South to help its neighbour meet its requirements up until 2037.

If built, the new development would provide employment space at the Omega West part of the land – although concerns over access for vehicles have been raised by council chiefs.

It has been stated a new junction could be required to provide access to Omega West.

But Andy Farrall, the council’s director for economic regeneration, growth and environment, says Highways England is ‘not usually supportive’ of motorway junctions, which would be costly to develop.

Furthermore, he said a new motorway junction is just one of a number of considerations – along with an additional slip road, creating more capacity on the existing junction in the area, or ‘remodelling uses’ on the Omega site.

He added: “It is all about honestly exploring and modelling what the highways implications are to determine what is required.

“The first thing that has to happen before we can think of any of those solutions is for St Helens, ourselves and Omega Warrington to look at what that expanded area would generate in terms of traffic.”

Highways England – which operates, maintains and improves the country’s motorways – has not ruled out a new junction.

A spokesman said it works closely with councils and key stakeholder to accommodate and support new opportunities for jobs and homes.

He added: “We recently provided a £3 million contribution from our £100 million growth and housing fund for improvements at junction eight of the motorway, supporting the Omega South development.

“In the case of Omega West, both councils are currently developing their local plans and the transport evidence base to support them.

“Highways England will continue to work with both councils to help understand what the future implications for the motorway network may be.”