Councillors to mull Lime Street changes
Amendments to the controversial redesign of one of Liverpool’s major roads will be put to committee next week as the city looks to complete a problematic project.
Reversing one of the project’s most contentious points, buses could be given the green light to travel in both directions on Lime Street if the latest proposal is approved at the meeting of LCC’s environment and climate change committee on 25 January.
The council’s highways and transportation team was asked to review the Lime Street scheme after original contractor NMCN went into administration in autumn, as the final stages of the £9m project neared.
Work had started in October 2020 on what was scheduled as a 12-month programme.
The Lime Street scheme had originally included a new water feature at the northern end of St George’s Hall, but it is now the intention to scrap this plan, diverting funds instead to restoring the historic Steble Fountain at the southern end of the grade one-listed venue.
As well as resurfacing works and the introduction of a cycle lane, alterations to be made under the project include enhanced pedestrian crossings, improved cycle facilities, secure cycle parking, a bus stop outside Lime Street station, disabled parking facilities and the introduction of a 20mph zone together with access-only restrictions on Lime Street between Queens Square Bus Station and London Road.
The road has already been narrowed from Lime Street Station up to the Adelphi Hotel, and no further changes are planned there.
Cllr Dan Barrington, cabinet member for environment and climate change, said: “The Lime Street scheme has generated quite a few problems, not least the collapse of the original contractor and we apologise for the delays and disruption this has caused.
“However, this gave us the opportunity to revisit the design of the scheme especially the biggest complaint we were receiving – the removal of access for buses at Brownlow Hill.
“I’d like to thank the officers and the engineers for their hard work in this proposed redesign. It’s a good compromise and one which ensures the overall aims of improving the Lime Street experience, without hurting bus users on certain key routes.”
After the select committee, the proposals will then go to the council’s cabinet meeting on Friday 4 February for final approval, before a contractor is appointed to complete the project.
If approval is granted, contractors will be engaged to complete the scheme. The resurfacing works, which will see the installation of a cycle lane, will then go out to tender. LCC said all works are expected to be finished by summer.
Sign-off is also required on an additional £1.5m due to pre-Christmas safety works required following NMCN’s departure.
The Lime Street scheme, which also includes a widening of St George’s Plateau, is part of the £47m Liverpool City Centre Connectivity programme, which has seen a £22m project undertaken by Graham at The Strand, along with schemes at Dale Street and Victoria Street, and the creation of a bus hub and coach park.
Works on the southern section of The Strand are expected to begin in the summer, with similar works programmed for Tithebarn Street and Water Street, including more cycle lanes connecting to The Strand.