Powering up road upgrade

Liverpool City Council is teaming up with Scottish Power on a major new scheme to upgrade Smithdown Road.

The council is working with the utility company to deliver a brand new carriageway, as part of an innovative partnership.

Scottish Power is upgrading its supply with the installation of a 33kV cable along the length of Smithdown Road, from Yanwath Street to Gainsborough Road. The work, which begins on Monday 24 September is likely to cause damage to the road, which is already in poor condition.

Now, following negotiations with the city council, Scottish Power have agreed to contribute £180,000 towards the cost of repairing the road. The council is investing a further £320,000, meaning it can drive forward with a £500,000 scheme to completely resurface the carriageway.

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, Councillor Tim Moore, said: “This is a great example of how, by working together with our partners in the private sector, we can achieve great things. Smithdown Road has needed these improvements for a number of years, and I’m delighted that we will now be able to deliver them.

“We looked at the current state of the road and considered the further damage likely to be caused by the utility works. We decided that instead of just patching it up, we should explore how we could deliver a new surface. Scottish Power were happy to come the table and it’s great credit to them that they have agreed to assist with the costs of the work.

“As with any major road improvements and utility works, there will of course be some disruption – but the short term pain will be followed by long term gain for thousands of motorists, cyclists, businesses and residents as we deliver a brand new carriageway which will last for many years. ”

The six-week scheme will be carried out under extensive traffic management. Smithdown Road will be reduced to one lane in each direction for the duration of the works.

Residents and businesses have been notified by Scottish Power of the works and advanced signage has been out this week to advise motorists. The city’s network of variable message signs is also being activated to advise people about the scheme.

Paul Newbrook, Senior Investment Engineer at Scottish Power, said: “The work we are carrying out will support growth and improve the security of electricity supplies in the area for many years to come.

“We are working closely with Liverpool City Council to inform the local community of the scope of works and minimise disruption to local residents and businesses. We look forward to working with the Council on future projects in and around the Merseyside area.”

The start of the £500,000 Smithdown Road improvements comes immediately after the completion of the £2.2 million upgrade to Queens Drive. The city council held off the start of the Smithdown Road works until the Queens Drive scheme was completed, to avoid the major disruption that would have been caused by extensive traffic management on two major routes in the city.