NO new bypass will be built as part of the major plans to ease traffic on the M60 after previous proposals caused controversy and concern in Kearsley.

A new relief road between junctions 12 and 18 of the M60 is no longer being considered by Highways England which will look at “smaller schemes” instead.

The major scheme, six years in the making, caused controversy when a new road linking the M61 and M62 through Kearsley was proposed back in 2018.

Both of these proposals have now been scrapped after the Manchester North West Quadrant study found they would have “adverse impacts” on local people and communities and, overall, would not offer good value for money.

Kearsley councillor Paul Heslop said the news has come as a ” huge relief”.

He said: “Many residents were living under the cloud of their homes being potentially demolished whilst others lived with the uncertainty motorway cutting through their neighbourhood.

“Many people have expressed the wish to sell their homes – for various reasons – but felt that the threat of the motorway was having a negative effect on not only the saleability of their property but the value of their houses.”

Cllr Heslop does not believe the bypass between junctions 12 and 18 of the M60 would have been a benefit to Kearsley, Farnworth or Bolton.

Highways England has now revealed proposals for a major junction upgrade where the M60, M62 and M66 meet at Simister Island Interchange instead.

A spokesman said: “We are looking at how we can relieve pressure on the north-west stretch of the M60 to provide better journeys for drivers.

“Following publication of the government’s second Road Investment Strategy, we are no longer considering a proposed bypass from junctions 12 to 18 of the motorway and are instead developing options for smaller schemes to improve the flow of traffic.”

Manchester North West Quadrant was one of six strategic studies set out in the Department for Transport’s first Roads Investment Strategy in 2014.

The strategic study investigated a number of solutions for road, rail and bus to relieve pressure on the M60 between junctions 8 and 18.

Proposals were put forward for two major highways to be built through the borough, with one linking the M61 to the M62 via a new road which would branch out from the Kearsley Spur.

Surveyors were sent to a number of sites around Unity Brook and Moss Lane ramping up fears in Kearsley where public meetings were held over the plans.

Another new curved section of motorway outside the circuit of the M60 that would extend the M58 from its junction with the M6 to create a new link with the M61 cutting through Westhoughton around junction 5 was also proposed.

But neither of these major new roads feature on the latest proposals as part of the Manchester North West Quadrant project by Highways England.

The authority responsible for operating, maintaining and improving England’s motorways and major A roads has also now confirmed the bypass between junctions 12 and 18 of the M60 is no longer being considered either.

A public consultation was launched last week on proposals to upgrade junction 18 of the M60 at Simister Island where it meets the M62 and M66.