Multi-million pound boost for Liverpool’s active travel revolution
A trio of temporary cycle lanes in Liverpool, created during the Covid-19 pandemic, are set to be made permanent thanks to a multi-million pound funding boost.
A report to Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet is recommending an allocation of £10.95m from the Active Travel England be accepted and invested in enhancing the three routes into fully segregated active travel corridors.
The designs for each scheme, which will not require the loss of any traffic lanes, were subject to a pubic consultation last Autumn with feedback largely supportive for the interventions.
The Cabinet report also shows that Active Travel England funding, which will be drawn down from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, has also been set aside for an upgrade to an existing cycle lane in Toxteth.
If approved next Tuesday (18 July), the funding will be allocated to:
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 to improve surfacing and provide pedestrian priority across side roads
New crossing facilities to remove barriers to movement
Consistent treatment for cycle lanes and their interaction with bus stops
Carriageway resurfacing, including drainage and street lighting improvements
It is anticipated contracts for each of the four schemes will be awarded by early Spring 2024, with work starting in Summer ‘24.
July is a big month for Liverpool’s Active Travel programme.
A year-long scheme to improve 30 access points along the Liverpool Loop Line, which runs 16km through the city from Halewood to Aintree, is set to complete.
A new cycle training facility at Everton Park, funded as part of the British Cycling “places to ride” programme, is to be officially opened next month. This facility is the first of its kind in the city, providing an artificial road network for children to understand how to navigate different types of junctions.
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.
Councillor Dan Barrington, Cabinet Member for Transport and Connectivity,said: “This funding from Active Travel England is going to make a huge difference to people wanting to seek healthier ways to travel in and around Liverpool.
“The pop-up cycle lanes were right to be introduced in principal 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.
“The work that has since gone into designing permanent corridors has taken quite a bit of time, but that means we’ve been able to talk and listen to the communities and those who cycle to understand what the problems were with the 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. As I’ve said repeatedly on the issue of cycling and active travel, Liverpool’s offer is far from complete but we know what the missing pieces are to complete this jigsaw.
“Our challenge now is to make the case to accelerate our efforts and transform Liverpool as a cycle and walk-friendly city, and not just in the city centre, but right across our neighbourhoods and for the benefit of all ages and abilities.
“If we are to tackle climate change, then sitting back and doing nothing is not an option.”
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.