There will be a crackdown on illegal parking in Liverpool city centre in the run-up to Christmas as police, the city council and Merseytravel launch their festive traffic management plan. Tony McDonough reports
People parking illegally in Liverpool city centre in the run up to Christmas will face a crackdown as part of a plan unveiled by Merseytravel, the city council and Merseyside Police.
All three have come together to launch their annual joint traffic management scheme, with the support of bus operators Arriva and Stagecoach. The plan will also include limiting the use of Lime Street to taxis, buses and cycles for the festive period.
Staring this Friday, November 26, and running until Friday, December 24, the scheme, which has been in operation for the past 10 years, will aim to reduce traffic congestion over the next few weeks as the city fills up with Christmas shoppers and revellers.
It looks to support Liverpool’s retail and hospitality businesses by reducing illegal parking and monitoring traffic flow to prevent gridlock and make sure that bus services remain as punctual as possible.
Each organisation and operator will share information and resources meaning they can respond more quickly to issues and more effectively manage movement through the city centre, particularly on key routes such as Hanover Street and transport hubs such as Liverpool ONE bus station.
Illegal parking, which causes traffic congestion at busy times, will be addressed through parking enforcement in ‘hot spot’ areas. Bus operators and highways staff will also report illegal parking that they see causing a problem.
PCSO and Merseyside police officers will stop taxis and private vehicles from dropping off in bus stops and road junctions, and from blocking yellow box junction markings in the city centre.
The launch of the initiative also coincides with temporary traffic measures limiting the use of Lime Street to taxis, buses and cycles only from November 24, to ease movements around the current roadworks in the city centre.
Cllr Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Portfolio Holder said: “After the difficult time we faced last year, it’s great to see the city centre so vibrant and busy as we gear up to Christmas, but with that can come congestion and frustration.
“By working together and sharing resources we’re being innovative in how we approach the issue, helping commuters and shoppers to get around as easily as possible and also addressing the resulting air pollution that congestion can cause.
“We encourage people to play their part too by sticking to public transport wherever possible and avoiding travelling at peak times if they can.”
Traffic management constable, Andy Astle, fromMerseyside Police, added: “After the year we have all experienced, it is more important than ever that we come together and have a safe and joyful Christmas and New Year. And this initiative with all partners working together to keep our roads safe and obstruction-free aims to do just that.”