Delays ‘inevitable’ as Strand upgrade enters new phase

Work began on first upgrade of The Strand in Liverpool since the 1950s in June and it now enters a new phase in the next few days which is likely to lead to traffic hold-ups. Tony McDonough reports

The Strand
The Strand in Liverpool is undergoing a £22m transformation


Southbound traffic on one of Liverpool’s busiest highways will be reduced to one lane in the next few days as part of a £22m upgrade.

Work began on the transformation of The Strand, which runs through Liverpool city centre close to the waterfront, at the end of June. It aims to reduce congestion, make access to the waterfront easier for pedestrians and create a permanent segregated cycle lane.

From. Monday, October 12, the first stretch of the southbound side will be filtered down to one lane to allow contractors to excavate the footway to reduce the four lane carriageway down to two.

The one-lane filter will come into effect for traffic after the Leeds Street and Great Howard Street junctions and will continue until Chapel Street junction, just after the Queensway Tunnel exit. Two lanes will remain from there until the James Street junction, opposite Mann Island.

This phase is due to end in November 2020, with further lane restrictions continuing from Chapel Street to James Street through to spring 2021.

Untouched in its design layout since the 1950s, the two kilometre long, four lane dual carriageway is often gridlocked at peak times and has become a hotspot for road accidents with four fatalities in the past two years.

The overall plan will see the removal of a traffic lane in each direction and the closure of traffic junctions at Water Street and Mann Island with Goree. The new cycle lane will connect the south of Liverpool to the north, allowing cyclists to eventually ride the full length of the Mersey from Otterspool to Southport.

New trees and public spaces are also being installed as part of a wider strategy to attract and promote walking in the city centre. The project is critical to the £47m Liverpool City Centre Connectivity (LCCC) scheme which has already led to changes to Victoria Street, Dale Street, Brownlow Hill, City Bus Hub and the removal of the Churchill Way Flyover. It will also include a revamp of Lime Street and a new coach park.

Based on computer modelling, it is estimated car journeys at peak times along The Strand – from the end of Leeds Street in the north to Upper Parliament Street in the south – will be reduced by more than a minute in both directions.

Cllr Sharon Connor, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “We’re pleased with the progress so far on The Strand but next week is a real gear change and unfortunately this phase inevitably will cause traffic delays.

We’re working with the contractors to ensure disruption is kept to an absolute minimum, but a road scheme of this scale in the heart of the city centre is both complex and intrusive. I hope people can plan their journey’s accordingly over this period to allow the contractor to complete the works as efficiently as possible.

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