£80 million road improvements to be completed faster

Liverpool City Council is to dramatically speed up its £80 million roads investment programme. It was originally planned to spend £80m over the next eight years improving the city’s highways network – but this Friday, 21st August, the council’s Cabinet will be asked to amend the plans so they are completed within five years, by 2019.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said:

“We desperately need to improve the quality of some of the main routes in the city and that is why we are now set to press the accelerator pedal and do it much faster than originally planned.

“The damaged road surfaces and potholes in the city are a bugbear for residents, businesses and investors due to decades of underinvestment, and we want to take significant steps in putting that right.

“There are huge economic benefits to having well-maintained, high-quality highways. They keep traffic flowing, keep vehicle running costs low, and by ensuring people and goods can move efficiently, make our city a more desirable place to live, work, visit and do business.”

Work started last year on the highways investment programme, and the first scheme on the A59 Walton Vale and Warbreck Moor has already been completed. Elsewhere, resurfacing of the area around Islington is set to be completed in early September and on Ullet Road in early October, while work on Smithdown Road will start in September 2015.

Other areas of the city to benefit from the investment over the next few years include:

• Smithdown Road and Allerton Road
• East Lancs Road
• Walton Hall Avenue
• Scotland Road
• County Road/Walton Road
• Kensington/Prescot Road
• Aigburth Road/Jericho Lane

Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, Cabinet member for regeneration, said:

“We are working on those routes which carry huge volumes of traffic, which are of the most strategic importance to the city, and which are in poor condition.

“This work will significantly reduce our highways maintenance backlog over the coming years, and as such, is an important component in the on-going regeneration and development of our city.”

The move is expected to deliver major savings for the city by reducing urgent and on-going highway repairs – which can often be more costly than a planned improvement programme – and reducing public liability claims.

Funding for the work is coming from a mix of the sale of assets such as land and buildings (known as capital receipts), borrowing and external funding from utility companies.

Separately, another £85 million is set to be spent by 2019 on highways projects, including:

• Making the Strand more pedestrian friendly to make it easier for residents and visitors to access the waterfront by improving crossings and routes for cycles and people on foot
• A new city centre ‘connectivity’ scheme including new and improved signage and lighting, dedicated coach parking, more priority for pedestrians and cyclists and a review of bus routes to reduce delays
• Upgrading the A565 north Liverpool corridor
• Improving the pedestrian routes in and around Lime Street
• Upgrading the Tunnel Road/Earle Road junction in the Baltic Triangle
• Upgrading crossings and installing bus priority measures on the A57 around the Knowledge Quarter

The city council receives approximately £3.5m each year from central government for the maintenance of its highways, including carriageways, footways, street lighting, and highway structures. This annual funding will be directed towards the on-going maintenance of roads not included in the £80m investment programme, such as unclassified roads, and B and C roads.

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