Bold Street Parklet
Bold Street has been fully pedestrianised to support reopening of bars and restaurants

Liverpool wants ‘bus gate’ to ease traffic flows

Sarah Townsend

The city council intends to block off a major road connecting the Knowledge Quarter and the waterfront and close to the now pedestrianised Bold Street, to reduce congestion and improve transport flows.

Under the plans, contained in a report to Liverpool City Council’s cabinet, the council would ban all traffic heading westbound into Ranelagh Street and Hanover Street from Lime Street, apart from buses, taxis, private hire vehicles and bikes.

The measure, known as a “bus gate”, would be introduced as an ‘experimental traffic order’ under the council’s statutory powers and reviewed after 12 months.

The proposals are expected to be approved in a cabinet meeting today.

The scheme is expected to improve the flow of public transport for tens of thousands of passengers every day, and making a key corridor across the city centre much safer, according to the council.

It cited a survey showing that the route has been used as a rat-run with a high number of accidents involving pedestrians crossing from Church Street to Bold Street, which has recently been fully pedestrianised to support the reopening of restaurants and bars after the Covid-19 lockdown.

The proposed changes will not affect eastbound traffic as Lime Street is to be remodelled between St John’s Lane and Skelhorne Street as part of the £47m Liverpool City Centre Connectivity scheme, which aims to remove access to traffic, the council added.

The bus-gate is proposed to be operational between 7am to midnight, every day of the week, to support current and future bus routes.

Cllr Sharon Connor, cabinet member for highways, said: “Hanover and Ranelagh Street are currently used as a ‘rat run’ and that is simply not an acceptable situation especially when we are encouraging people to walk and cycle more and we are committed to improving our air quality as well.

“The benefits of this measure will be considerable in terms of reducing congestion and improving safety in the heart of our city centre. The bus gate is a key part of a much wider package of projects to improve accessibility in the city centre, so it should not be looked at in isolation.

“It has been designed to complement changes to The Strand and Lime Street, which are long overdue given how the city centre has transformed over the past three decades, and should also knit nicely with our work to improve access and safety on Bold Street.”

If approved, the council aims to implement the changes by the autumn, it said.

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Liverpool working for Liverpool.

By Heswall

Perhaps if they improved the traffic light system at the corner of Duke Street and Hanover Street, also they could make Hanover Street free flowing instead of the give way bit in the middle to Gradwell street, this holds up a lot of traffic. Otherwise it will become difficult to travel by car anywhere?

By Traveller

They need to be careful with all this road-closing and road-narrowing as it will become increasingly more difficult getting into and around Liverpool by car eg Duke St and Hanover St junction.
I want to see a safer and healthier environment,and that is why we need to see an efficient tram network around the inner city,so people can park their cars then board a tram to reach their destinations.
The proposed tram from Paddington Village into town sounded a good initial route but that does not seem to be progressing at all.

By sound

Yes! More of this please.

By Active Travel Trev

I would love to hear that Liverpool has become the worlds first city to fully pedestrianise its city centre.

By Bixteth Boy

Perhaps they can also take added steps to clean the streets of all the litter and empty bins around the city so as they don’t overflow. It’s an absolute disgrace the way the city looks and is something an efficiently run council street cleaning service should be able to achieve. Given the number of tourists the city attracts, it’s an embarrassment. Get it sorted Mayor Anderson.


@Traveller the priority at the junction of Hanover Street with Gradwell Street will also be changed to give priority to traffic along Hanover Street.

By Lbndaily

The more difficult they make it to get anywhere, the more “rat runs” you’re going to get. Plus, a large number of people in cars clearly (by their visible dithering at junctions) don’t know where they are going. That’s also something made much worse by over complicated routing.

Give us back a simple road system, and that will help reduce traffic problems no end. Of course that would involve ripping up rather a lot of expensive, recently procured paving flags…

By Mike

Hanover Street has long been closed to general traffic. The point is the rules were being flouted. The gating should stop this.
As for trams, yes, we need better connections to all parts of the city centre including Paddington, but this new gate is yards from the busiest underground station outside London. There is already an underground loop around the core of the city centre and also to Hamilton Square Birkenhead are every 3 or 4 minutes.

By The Crows

Sick of listening to this ‘on yeah bike agenda’. What this city needs is FREE car parking. (Oh and grade A office space.).

By George

Liverpool’s pedestrian experience from Lime Street is great, but the car dominance of the Strand and other areas needs sorting. Walking and cycling access across the city needs improving. This will be a good step.

By Great News

They could also start cleaning off the graffiti. Most visitors don’t want to look at the ugly repetitive doggerel of juvenile narcissists.

By moomo