Castle Street upgrade complete

Work on a £2.9m highways improvement scheme on Castle Street in Liverpool city centre has been completed.

Liverpool City Council has worked with lead consultant 2020 Liverpool, its joint venture with Mouchel, urban design sub consultant Camlins and contractor North Midland Construction on the project.

Castle Street in LiverpoolThe Castle Street scheme began last November and involved the upgrading of the road and pavements along the street, which has taken into account the street's position in Liverpool's conservation area and the World Heritage Site, linking the commercial quarter and the main shopping area.

The project included making the road one way from the Town Hall to Cook Street, and a new public transport interchange was created on Cook Street, with new bus stops, seating and information boards.

Signs have been reviewed and upgraded and new signal controlled junctions introduced, along with a new puffin crossing, seating and trees to compliment the design of adjacent Derby Square.

Street clutter has also been reduced, with lighting and traffic signals combined in a single column. For the first time, CCTV cameras for traffic monitoring were also mounted on the same columns, which further reduces the number of posts required.

Work also involved the repaving of the streets around Liverpool Town Hall with natural York stone and granite, as well as the widening of the footpaths and narrowing of the road between the Town Hall and Cook Street.

The council said it has worked closely with its partners to minimise disruption and kept local businesses up-to-date with the progress of the works.

To mark the completion of work, a free event titled Fiesta Latina will take place on Saturday 24 September, which is being co-ordinated by the Commercial District Partnership.

Castle Street will be closed to traffic from 12pm to 6pm, with the music, sights, and tastes of Latin America planned.

Nick Kavanagh, the city council's director for regeneration and employment, said: "This scheme is the latest part of our work to drive up the quality of our roads. Castle Street is one of the most important and historical roads in the city centre, so it was vital to bring it up to modern standards while remaining sensitive to its unique heritage.

"These improvements will bring huge benefits to motorists, pedestrians and businesses for many years to come, providing a more attractive, spacious area, as well as creating an environment which better reflects the balance between low vehicle flows and high levels of pedestrian use."

The council said a sanctuary stone, believed to be the only surviving surface monument from Liverpool's medieval past, was lifted from its existing location on Castle Street during the work, and taken to the Conservation Centre for storage, while a new setting was prepared to make more of a feature of it.

The stone, which possibly dates back to the 13th or 14th century and served as one of the boundary markers for the city's fairs, has now been returned to the street.

The project was funded by the North West Development Agency, Liverpool City Council and Merseytravel.

Castle Street and Dale Street were named as one of six World Heritage areas in Liverpool in 2004. The other areas recognised for their importance in maritime mercantile history were Pier Head, Lower Duke Street, William Brown Street, Albert Dock and Stanley Dock.

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