Cycle-friendly traffic lights are first for city

Cyclists are to be given a head start in a £3m package of improvements at a key route in Liverpool city centre.

The work which starts this week along the Leeds Street Corridor will include innovative signals at the junctions with Vauxhall Road and Pall Mall to help cyclists beat traffic.

The green cycle signal comes on before the full green to give bike riders a head start in traffic. The signal expires when the full green light comes on. Special detectors, using video and thermal imaging are being used which can distinguish cyclists from other vehicles so that the advance lights are not used when there are no cyclists, avoiding delays to other road users.

These are the first traffic lights in Liverpool to use this system and there are very few similar lights of this type in the country.

“This is a highly innovative way we can help cyclists in heavy traffic, “said Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, cabinet member for regeneration and transport. “It uses the most up to date technology so they can get ahead of other vehicles and also increase their feelings of safety.

“And as the light is not triggered if there are no cyclists present there will be no unnecessary delays to motorists.

“This is part of a package of improvements which are aimed at helping all road users, whether  they are motorists, cyclists or pedestrians. It will also help link transport from the east to west by removing pinch points at junctions and improve the capacity of this route as well as linking North Liverpool  better with the commercial district.

“Improving access also helps businesses in the area and makes it easier for local residents to get to workplaces or find jobs.  These are works which will a have a real and beneficial impact on this part of the city.”

Highways improvements include an additional right turn lane and new pedestrian facilities at Pall Mall, resurfacing work, footway enhancements and improvements to the street lighting. the planter area on the south side of Leeds Street between Vauxhall Road and Pall Mall  will be improved  and there will be additional cycle facilities to link in with the recent improvements in Vauxhall Road.

This phase of the work is expected to last until the end of the year.  To help reduce disruption lane closures will take place on the outbound carriageway during the morning peak hours and on the inbound carriageway in the evening rush hour. There will be no work on the carriageway in December to help Christmas traffic.

In the New Year puffin crossings will be installed on Great Howard Street, near to the junction with Oil Street and on Regent Road near to the Bascule Bridge at the junction with Walter Street. All the works will be completed by March.

Funding for this has been provide by the Regional Growth Fund and is part of successful bid by the city council for £25m for the North Liverpool City Fringe Investment and Employment Programme.