The council will build a network of temporary cycle lanes to help kickstart the city’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, following a review of traffic movements in the city that will also see the Merseyrail local rail network increase services from Monday.
The increase in services is to cater for those heading back to work following the partial relaxing of some lockdown restrictions by the Government this week.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson has unveiled a £2m package to introduce up to 100km of ‘pop-up’ cycle lanes along key routes into and within Liverpool city centre.
Anderson said the time has come to be “as radical as possible” to ensure improvements in the city’s air quality witnessed during lockdown continue for years to come.
The planned transport infrastructure, which includes street furniture and the widening of pavements, are also intended to help maintain social distancing and ease the way for pavement cafes to operate once the restrictions are lifted.
The move follows a review by the council on how best to support people going back to their place of work.
Two key corridors, the Sefton Park perimeter and West Derby Road, have already been identified for temporary cycle lanes, while a further five routes are under review and set to be added to the programme by this weekend.
The mayor has invited councillors, businesses and the public to come forward with additional ideas on how to improve access for cyclists and pedestrians around the city centre.
Anderson said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted our way of life beyond imagination but the challenges it has presented have also provided us with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reimagine how we use and travel within our cities.”
The £2m programme is “just one step on the long road to recovery”, he added. “Hopefully, these measures will provide businesses and their workforces strong alternatives if they don’t want to use public transport and don’t have access to a car.”
Cllr Sharon Connor, Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for highways, said: “Walking and cycling has seen a huge upsurge since the lockdown began as for many it has been the only way to exercise.
“This shift has seen a huge boost to people’s and communities’ wellbeing and it’s vital we don’t lose that.”