A fund worth £500M  could help making building a new motorway junction a reality.

The cash has been made available HS2 was axed in the north.

Heavy traffic has long been a cause of concerns around Westhoughton, Horwich and Blackrod, heightened by the missing junction 7 of the M61.

Now, Bolton West MP Chris Green says that a fund worth £500M will soon be open for bids to improve infrastructure around the North West.

Mr Green says it must include the long-discussed junction.

Mr Green said: “It will make a huge difference in Westhoughton, Horwich, Blackrod and further to the north in Chorley because now you’ve got all those people driving through our towns causing all that congestion and all those fumes.

“The junction would allow them to get onto the motorway much more quickly and free up our local roads for local journeys.”

The Bolton News: The notoriously busy area around De Havilland way is often hit by knock on trafficThe notoriously busy area around De Havilland way is often hit by knock on traffic (Image: Newsquest)

Ever since it was first built the M61, which already has a junction 6 and junction 8, has long missed a junction 7.

Supporters of the scheme like Mr Green, first elected as Conservative MP for Bolton West in 2015, say that this would help to relieve what is often heavy traffic in Westhoughton, Horwich and Chorley.

This could be especially impactful on relieving traffic on the roads around De Havilland Way.

Mr Green says that the £500M funding pot has been made available after being redirected from the now cancelled northern leg of the HS2 rail link between Birmingham and Manchester.

He says that having spoken to parliamentary under secretary of state for roads and local transport Guy Opperman MP he believes this fund will soon be open for bids.

Mr Green said: “With the government’s commitment to spending money in the region I think we have never had a better opportunity to get this upgrade that was always meant to happen.”

He added: “The is an opportunity to take a practical step to improve the lives of tens of thousands of people.”

Mr Green said he would press the case for Bolton Council and neighbouring MPs to put forward a viable bid.

But Labour’s Phil Brickell, who will stand against Mr Green at the next general election, pointed out that many years have already passed without progress being made.

ALSO READ: Call for slice of £500m HS2 funding for M61 junction 7

ALSO READ: 'Huge interest' in new junction rather than £23m traffic lights scheme, MP says

ALSO READ: Bolton Metrolink extension 'on the table' after elections

Mr Brickell said: “There has been discussion around having another junction on the M61 for at least as long as the current MP has been in place.

“But as far as I know there has been no credible plan in terms of making it happen.”

Mr Brickell said he and his party would welcome anything that relieved traffic in the Bolton West area but questioned the national government’s commitment to projects like these.

He added: “From the Conservative government we’ve had lots of promises about levelling up but time and time again they’ve failed to deliver it.”