Contractor MNCN has started work on a year-long, £9m upgrade of the Liverpool road to make it more suitable for pedestrians and cyclists and create a more attractive gateway to the city.
Lime Street is to be reduced to a single carriageway in each direction, under the plans designed by infrastructure firm Amey and Liverpool City Council’s highways department.
The project involves adding a cycle lane and severing the northbound lane at the junction of Hanover Street, outside the Adelphi Hotel.
The Lime Street revamp will also see a widened, boulevard-style pavement running the entire length up to the Adelphi Hotel, which sits within the newly branded Upper Central gateway leading to the city’s Knowledge Quarter.
The designs feature the installation of a water feature at the southern end of the St George’s Plateau, which lies within the city’s World Heritage site.
BCA Landscape helped to design of the public realm.
The Lime Street revamp will change the way bus services work in the city centre. During the project, all but a limited number of routes will terminate at either Queens Square or Liverpool One bus station, the council said.
These changes will then allow the city’s newly created bus hub on Old Haymarket to become fully operational.
The Lime Street upgrade is part of a wider, £47m project to improve roads and accessibility in Liverpool city centre.
The Liverpool City Centre Connectivity programme, which focuses on re-engineering routes in and out of the city’s commercial and retail districts, has already led to changes to Victoria Street, Dale Street, Brownlow Hill, and the removal of the Churchill Way Flyover.
Another key element is the redesign of The Strand on the waterfront. Work has begun on the £22m project, which includes a new cycle lane to connect the north and south of the city. The Strand upgrade is expected to complete in next summer.
The programme aims to boost transport links and further fuel Liverpool’s international appeal to investors, shoppers and tourists, the council said. The city’s visitor economy is currently valued at £3.6bn a year.
Cllr Sharon Connor, Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for highways, said: “For millions of people, Lime Street is the gateway into Liverpool and we want to provide them with a world-class welcome.
“A new public square outside Lime Street station and an expanded plateau at St George’s Hall will transform the experience of arriving in Liverpool and how people interact with arguably the UK’s greatest collection of iconic cultural venues.”
Simon O’Brien, cycling commissioner for Liverpool, said: “As people arrive into Liverpool, they will now be able to step off the train and walk or cycle from the station into the heart of the city with ease and comfort.
“It is a real statement from Liverpool City Council, and the hub of a new network that will spread out to all corners of our region.”