Cabinet members in Liverpool will vote this week on plans to acquire private land to carve a £20m link road through King Edward Street industrial estate into the city centre to ease congestion and prepare for growth in jobs and population.
The council will seek permission to start the process of identifying land owners and opening negotiations over values and acquisitions.
The road would run from the Great Howard Street and Leeds Street junction west to emerge at the roundabout next to the Waterloo Dock apartments and the entrance to Peel’s Prince Dock. The area is south of the Costco and Toys R Us superstores.
The plan is part of a wider traffic scheme proposed by the council. The officer’s report, due to go before cabinet on Friday, describes the road link as the “highest priority deliverable scheme within the City Region’s pipeline of transport schemes.” Liverpool is still making the case for funding to the other councils in the Combined Authority.
The scheme would be partly financed by Liverpool City Council. On completion, some of the land acquired might be sold back into the private market for “further regeneration activity creating capital receipts to offset the costs”.
The link road is needed because, according to transport officers, “access into the northern end of the city is already difficult and whilst improvements are planned…it is considered that a further link road is necessary to ensure that transport movement in this area is free flowing and reliable.”
In October, letters were issued to land owners and occupiers affected by a separate project to widen Great Howard Street and Derby Road into a dual carriageway. The dock road connects Formby, Crosby and Waterloo in Sefton with the city centre. Dualling will cost £22m and cover a 2.7km stretch of road. Other parts of the road are already dual carriageway.
Liverpool is spending £250m over the next five years on highways infrastructure as part of its Better Roads Programme. A second link road, one in the south of the city, is also proposed.
In all cases, the council said compulsory purchase orders would be the last resort and it hoped to agree deals to compensate owners and tenants before legal action was required.