The city council has announced details of Lime Street’s redevelopment, which forms part of the next phase of the £47m Liverpool City Centre Connectivity programme, which aims to reduce congestion and improve air quality.
The Lime Street element of the project had been subject to the demolition of the 50-year old Churchill Way flyovers, which is ongoing, and the council securing approval for a bus hub, which it has received.
The scheme is receiving £40.1m from the Local Growth Fund, with match funding of £7m. This is one of the major elements of the city council’s £500m Better Roads Programme. LGF money is awarded to the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership and invested through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority through its Strategic Investment Fund.
Following public feedback and a re-appraisal, the council is reintroducing a segregated cycle lane on Lime Street. This will be next to a public square outside the train station and an expanded plateau outside the grade one-listed St George’s Hall.
The Lime Street designs also include the installation of a water feature at the southern end of the plateau. A widened pavement which will run the entire length up to the Adelphi Hotel will also come as part of the revamp.
Construction is set to begin in May 2020 to reduce Lime Street into a single carriageway in both directions, with the southbound lane giving access to St Johns Shopping Centre car park.
South of Lime Street station will be single lane only, with northbound traffic and buses no longer able to travel past the ABC Cinema and Holiday Inn hotel. Subsequently, due to the timings of these works, which were originally envisaged for January, a revised date for route changes will be posted, the council said.
Further traffic modelling and surveys have revealed that the 82 bus service from South Liverpool will be able to continue to use Hanover Street, but will be subject to the introduction of bus priority measures such as a bus gate or a bus lane, which is currently being mapped out.
The bus hub on Old Haymarket will come into partial use in January, before becoming fully operational later in 2020.
The Queen Square bus station will become the focus for northbound bus routes, and the Liverpool One bus station will be for southbound bus routes. These will be underpinned by the Lime Street redesign.
By rerouting these services and building the bus hub, the council estimates it will save over 900,000 km of bus travel and 2,000 tonnes of CO2.
Other phase 1 schemes include:
- Moorfields: Improving the footways to enhance the area and the entrance into Moorfields station. Completed in summer 2019
- Victoria Street: This will include removal of bus layovers as well as tree planting and public realm features, creating wider footways and options for street cafés. Set to complete in March 2020
- Brownlow Hill: Creating a cycle link with Lime Street, and improved public areas that create access to the Knowledge Quarter. Set to complete in March 2020
- Tithebarn Street: Includes the creation of cycleways to enhance links with Lime Street and the waterfront. Set to complete in June 2020.
- City Coach Park: Parking provision for 30 vehicles on Riverside Drive. Set to complete in April 2020.
The second phase will see a series of highways improvements along The Strand, with work scheduled to begin in Spring 2020. A series of public consultation events will be held in the new year.
Cllr Sharon Connor, cabinet member for highways at Liverpool City Council, said: “Lime Street is the gateway into Liverpool for millions of people, and we aim 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.”
Minor changes to original plans were made, in particular the development of the cycle lane, which was paused while the council assessed the impact of the removal of the Churchill Way Flyover, Connor added.
The city also declared a climate change emergency in July 2019, and the new bus hub and forthcoming timetable changes from April are intended to reduce road congestion and improve the council’s carbon footprint and air quality.