Following the announcement that Liverpool will stage a victory homecoming parade for Liverpool Football Club starting at midday on May 27 May if they win the UEFA Champions League, here is a message from the Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson and some useful Q&As.
A message from Mayor Anderson:
My number one priority as Mayor of Liverpool is the safety of the people of this city. I understand some of the frustrations which have been expressed by fans, but am happy to accept that criticism, knowing that the route and plan which has been put in place is the safest and most manageable for an event such as this.
I am proud of the huge amount of work which organisations and individuals from across the city have done to design an event which will allow the maximum number of people to take part in a safe and deliverable way.
The teams working on it will only have 12 hours’ notice of it taking place and can only estimate the number of people they will be dealing with. The added complexity of this is the 250,000 people expected to be in the city over 3 days for the Tall Ships and Bordeaux Wine Festival event.
Some of the suggestions for locations for the route were carefully considered from the outset and decided against – by all agencies involved – for very real concerns about management and safety.
The route is the most manageable, while also providing the truly iconic backdrop of our UNESCO World Heritage Waterfront.
Why is it on Sunday?
The decision for the parade to be on the Sunday is at the request of Liverpool Football Club. This is a result of existing requirements for players and many of the squad needing to join their national squads ahead of the World Cup.
Why is it at 12.00?
In consultation with the City Council, Merseyside Police and Merseytravel it was agreed that this was the best time in order to facilitate the parade safely while there are two other major events taking place in the city at the same time. It also allows us to delay the start time of the existing events as well to ensure that they can go ahead later in the day.
Also, as public transport will be operating as a normal Sunday service, this gives everyone the best possible opportunity to get home safely by staggering the time people will travel.
Why isn’t it going past St George’s Hall?
Although a significant area, St George’s Hall Plateau and Lime Street are not big enough to hold the number of people who would attempt to get into it.
This would mean that the area would need securing with steel shield fencing. This is very expensive and also would mean we need to shut the top end of Lime Street and surrounding roads for 48 hours, leading to major disruption to key routes and businesses.
There are also knock on effects of this which all parties agreed made this unsuitable for the parade route.
Why are you not doing the 2005 route?
In 2005, the city was in the middle of a major infrastructure overhaul. The Strand was undergoing major works and Liverpool One was being built.
The route in 2005 was a response to the fact that it couldn’t come down The Strand.
It brought with it significant logistical challenges, which were overcome, but with the availability of the Strand in 2018 this is a far safer and more manageable route than in 2005.
It is also worth noting, that the safety considerations for an event such as this are very different than they were in 2005 as a result of some of the high profile incidents which have taken place across Europe in the last few years.
Why is it so short?
The length of the route is comparable to most other parade routes. We estimate it will take 2 hours for the route to be completed.
We may be able to extend the route if we can overcome some key logistical hurdles which we are working on and will be able to confirm next week (w/c 21 May).
Why isn’t it ending at Anfield?
In consultation with Merseyside Police and with Liverpool Football Club it was decided that the routes into Anfield are too narrow for a safe route to be agreed.
All planning meetings have advised against ending the route at Anfield as we are not confident of being able to manage it safely or appropriately.
Why isn’t there a stage like in other cities?
There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, major parades in other cities attract in the region of 100,000 people. We estimate that we could see 3 or 4 times that number of people attending.
There is simply no location in the city where such a huge number of people could congregate safely.
Secondly, unlike other cities, Liverpool does not have a square which is sufficient to ‘close off’ and potentially ticket for such an event without it coming at a huge expense and with intensive planning.
As such a moving parade, traditional in Liverpool, is the best way on this occasion for the greatest number of people to see the players and for us to ensure the most people possible get a chance to be a part of the day.
Also parades such as Manchester City’s and Leicester’s had weeks to prepare. We are potentially putting a parade on with 12 hours’ notice on a bank holiday, in the middle of two other major events on the busiest event weekend of the year, with players who have a short window to get to the world cup. We are doing this despite all the logistical and timetable issues because it is the right thing to do for the city.