During COVID-19 Liverpool City Council created three temporary cycle lanes across the city and now wants to spend almost £11m to make them permanent. Tony McDonough reports
Three temporary cycle lanes created by Liverpool City Council during the pandemic are to be made permanent in an £11m plan.
A report to the cabinet is recommending an allocation of £10.95m from Active Travel England be accepted and invested in enhancing the three routes into fully segregated active travel corridors.
Designs for each scheme, which will not require the loss of any traffic lanes, were subject to a public consultation last autumn with feedback “largely supportive” for the interventions.
Funding has also been set aside for an upgrade to an existing cycle lane in Toxteth. This Active Travel England funding will come via the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. If approved the schemes will include:
- Vauxhall Road route to Liverpool city centre – £1m to deliver upgrades to traffic signal-controlled junctions between Tithebarn Street and Boundary Street. Before work begins, a community consultation will be held to gain feedback on the details of the programme.
- West Derby Road route to Liverpool city centre – £4.9m secured to support delivery of a permanent active travel corridor between Low Hill and Tuebrook roundabout.
- Sefton Park route to Liverpool city centre – £3m to upgrade the Aigburth Drive Gate and Croxteth Gate junctions and provide segregated cycle facilities between Sefton Park and Princes Avenue.
- Princes Avenue junction improvements – £2m to upgrade the Princes Avenue roundabout to a cycle-friendly junction with links to the previously completed Princes Avenue scheme and the proposed Croxteth Road upgrade forming part of the Sefton Park corridor.
Improvements on all four elements will include upgrades to footways, new crossing facilities to remove barriers to movement, consistent treatment for cycle lanes and their interaction with bus stops and carriageway resurfacing.
It is anticipated contracts for each of the four schemes will be awarded by early spring 2024, with work starting in summer 2024.
Liverpool’s Active Travel programme is currently delivering six new permanent corridors, with the design brief for a further upgrade to The Strand in the city centre set to go out to tender later this summer.
Simon O’Brien, Walking and Cycling Commissioner for Liverpool City Region, said: “It is fantastic to see this new funding being unlocked to really help us push forward with our plans to help create a network of walking and cycling routes that befits the city.
“We’ve got some great active travel infrastructure, but we need to make sure it’s properly linked up so people feel confident that they can travel easily and safely by bike or on foot – that’s what this new funding will help to do.
“The kind of schemes that will be delivered by this money give us an amazing opportunity to help change the way we think about travelling around our local area.”
Funding for Liverpool’s Active Travel programme comes from the European Union, the Department for Transport, Liverpool City Region’s Combined Authority and planning contributions from the Council’s Section 106 fund.
Cllr Dan Barrington, Cabinet Member for Transport and Connectivity, added: “The pop-up cycle lanes were right to be introduced in principle as COVID-19 created huge transport issues when lockdown began.
“But the fact is the council did not have the funding to maintain them as temporary measures… I’m glad we’re now at the stage where we can accept the funding and start advertising for the work to be done.”