Zip World
Zip World operates three adventure parks in North Wales

Liverpool zip wire approval sparks anger

Dan Whelan

The decision to grant planning permission to Zip World for a £4m scheme to install a 400-metre wire between St Johns Beacon to Liverpool Central Library has met with criticism from commentators.

The zip wire would pass over St. John’s Shopping Centre, Hood Street, Roe Street, St. George’s Place, St. John’s Lane and Gardens and William Brown Street, operating from 9am to 8pm daily.

Zip World operates three zip line adventure parks in North Wales. The urban zip wire project in Liverpool is the company’s fourth venture.

Prior to the approval, objections were raised by critics including Liverpool Central ward councillors Nick Small and Maria Toolan, who opposed the project on the grounds that it would have a negative impact on the amenity of St. John’s Gardens, St. George’s Hall and other buildings within St. George’s Quarter.

In addition, hospitality group Marriott International, which operates a hotel under the path of the zip wire, raised concerns over potential noise implications.

The council received a total of 29 objections from neighbours who said the scheme would represent a distraction for passing vehicles. One raised concerns over the Disneyfication of one of the city’s most cultural areas, making it appear “tacky”.

And a comment from the War Memorials Trust advised that the zip line course over St John’s Gardens would provide a negative contribution to the setting, which includes war memorials. A monument commemorating the Hillsborough tragedy is also located in St John’s Gardens.

Liverpool Zipwire

The zip wire would pass over St John’s Gardens

A statement from Zip World said the company would not operate on “significant memorial days” and sought to reassure the city of Liverpool that Zip World “recognises the sensitivity of the heritage assets associated with the plans”.

Sean Taylor, founder and president of Zip World, added: “As a former Royal Marine, any memorial to our armed forces is of great significance. We also have several Liverpool FC supporters in the team and understand the sensitivity needed around the Hillsborough memorial.”

Downtown in Business, a networking group with offices across the North and the Midlands, was in favour of the scheme prior to consent, as were two residents and two tourism companies in Chester, according to a council report.

After Liverpool City Council approved the scheme, several members of the public slammed the decision as “terrible”, “utterly outrageous” and “sad”.

Cllr Jon Burke, ward councillor for Woodberry Down in the London Borough of Hackney and cabinet member for energy and transport, waded in saying: “This is an absolute travesty. Liverpool, a once proud city, reduced to a stag do theme park. Awful, awful decision.”

The statement added that Zip World had “worked hard to ensure the proposal to Liverpool City Council does not compromise the setting.”

Zip World’s Taylor said: “We have worked tirelessly with our planning team over the last 18 to 24 months to get the Zip World Liverpool project to this point.

“We would be honoured to be a part of this incredible city with its history and culture. There is no city like it.”

Meanwhile, Neil Ashcroft, centre manager for St John’s Shopping Centre, said he was “delighted” with the decision to approve the plans.

“We recognise that over the coming years the centre, and the city, need to innovate and offer new experiences to shoppers and tourists alike,” he said.

“The new Zip World attraction will create interest, bring in new visitors and add a certain wow factor to the area, which is just what we need right now.”

A spokesperson for Liverpool City Council said: “The Council has noted the approval of planning permission for the zip wire from St Johns Beacon to Central Library. There are a number of discussions to now follow to further understand and explore the details around the implementation of this potential attraction.”

DK Architects designed the scheme and Walker Sime is project manager and quantity surveyor.

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this the missing link needed to make liverpool just like new york

By Anonymous

I still like the zip wire!! Liverpool had the world first under ground cable to America and we will now have the first overground cable too! This is our global heritage! It will create job’s too.

By Mary Woolley

Another joke at our expense.

By #officesmatter

UNESCO won’t intervene in this one, because it damages the city instead of enhancing it. WHS and their ilk are only interested in derailing investment and scarring away potential businesses.

By Michael McDonut

One thing to have the zipwire but landing on the library is ridiculous.

By L1

Tacky beyond belief!! Be lovely if some member of a stag do has had a few drinks and then throws up mid way….

By Steve

Is this tacky? Possibly. Does this represent a Disneyfication of the city? No more than the Skytower bungy jumpers of Auckland. Is this needed? Well, no, but what is needed? If this doesn’t work, it will close down and be removed. But it may work and if it succeeds then why not. People come to Liverpool for a lot of reasons. It’s one of the most tourist-focused cities in the UK already. People come for the Beatles heritage, the arts and cultural scene, the nearby beaches and the architecture, even the shopping. Why not add another activity for tourists? At least this is better than what has happened to the ferry network, which was once proud, extensive & used for public transport but has been reduced to a tourist boat that plays one song non-stop until people’s minds explode. There is no reason this zip wire has to detract from other expansion and improvements of the city. Liverpool can still grow, it can still improve business activity and jobs, it can still enlarge its museums and galleries – they don’t have to stop because someone builds a zip wire.

Would I have suggested this? Not in a million years. I’d rather have a new super tall skytower to replace that bland existing, far to short “Beacon” where I can get a wonderful birdseye view of the city like I can in Paris, Sydney, Berlin, Hamburg, Toronto or so many other cities like even again Auckland that somehow just doesn’t exist in the UK. But I’m not going to stop this zip wire because I won’t personally use it. My favourite excuses… a distraction to drivers or too noisy. It’s a city, if you want quiet or no distractions, go to the countryside.


Didn’t know Liverpool city centre was transforming into a Go Ape site.

By a

I’m speechless, this is such a bizarre and tacky proposal

By Frank

There are so many things wrong with this plan, which is going to be such an embarrassment to the city. It will look tacky and will add considerable noise and distraction to a one of the most historic and cultural areas of the city. The library will feel more like a theme park instead of a place for learning and peace and quiet and one of the few green spaces in the city centre, which is full of various memorials, will become a noisy unpleasant place to sit. Looking at the response in comments sections and on social media very few people think this is a good idea and many many people are strongly against it. Let’s hope they have a re-think.

By Anonymous

Typical tacky from Labour Joe Anderson
We don’t need this

By George

Hen & stag parties are going to love this

By Anon

This is the final straw for me. The city has become a laughing stock. I’ll move over the city boundary if this goes ahead, I can’t continue to witness what is happening

By anon


By Lol

All the nice buildings the past and present council have knocked down and people are worried about a bit of wire that can be taken down anytime…

By Norman Williams


By MmcDrama Queen

It looks cheap and comical. The only good thing I can think of is that it will eventually go away, and it`s not destroying any green space or wildlife in the name of development.

By Bixteth Boy

When you vote in a clown for a mayor, you get a circus.

By Paul


By Anonymous

Is this meant to be the HS2 link to Liverpool?

By Anonymous

Everyone in the City should have been notified of this to voice our opinion. I have no issue with a zip wire being in the City but the chosen location is awful. Over the peaceful sanctuary of the gardens and the library were people go to study. It would have been better down by the docks.

By Alison

I am really worried about the Health and Safety aspect of the weight load, apparently the maximum total weight is only 300 kilos?
I was thinking about going on it as it seems a good way to get around town, but now I am not sure?

By J. A.

Hopefully high enough to avoid stray fireworks from pandemic defying revellers?!

By Bert

Tacky as hell.

By Observer


Other urban zip wires already exist. Sorry to break the news.

By Anonymous

I personally think this is a good idea am well travelled and seen this in alot of Cities around the world except places like Manchester ..just brilliant I love it .

By Anonymous

Liverpool loves to bring in the stag parties

By Lol

We desperately need to get people into the City Centre. We should encourage them, provide reasons for them to visit, welcome them with open arms, and provide things for them to spend their money on. If we don’t then others will, including the city that shall be nameless. We can’t preserve the City Centre in aspic, we must be open to new thinking. So the zip wire?? – it’s a great idea and I’m all for it.


By Liver lad

Just what Liverpool needs so the chattering classes can ridicule it even more. You can just imagine the jokes about Scousers on a zip wire being devised already. Great cities do not need silly gimmicks.A pound to a penny there will be a megaphone blurring out, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds as people plunge down.

By Elephant

This is what you get with a labour council no class just tack

By Anonymous

Why don’t we start selling rock,giving Donkey rides, and kiss me quick hats.

By John taylor

i miss the fun fair that used to be at pier head. had lorra lorra laughs.

By Anonymous

By all means have a zip wire, but put it at the Albert Dock, maybe near the Big Wheel, but not where it would have impact on folks in the Memorial Gardens or grieving relatives registering deaths or where marriages are taking place. Have some common sense!!
Zipworld have already said there’s nothing they can do to prevent users from screeching (or swearing) as they race each other.
Joe Anderson and the rest of the City Council should seriously reconsider the siting of this attraction.

By Kathleen Wright

Central Library is a beautiful building and a great renovation of a much loved and very well used community facility. The roof terrace provides good views and a place to relax for students and visitors. To have people landing on the terrace on a zip wire just cannot work without significant alterations to that space. I hope this ultimately does not come off due to that issue alone. This aspect is where there should be the greatest scrutiny with this proposal. I wonder if Heritage Lottery would have a concern with this too given they stumped up over £50m for the renovation works.

Central Library, yes a library, cannot be an appropriate location for a zip wire; noise, intrusion etc.

As a local authority owned building, I think it would be good to understand how much money Zip World will pay to ‘rent’ or use the library space. It must be a lot for such a desperate attempt to get needed funds into local public coffers to be given approval. That detail is surely in the public interest!

It is not in the WHS boundary but it is not a good look to UNESCO and says a lot about the current leadership of Liverpool City Council regards heritage. This is of course on the back of very mixed news about LCC’s performance in the last year regards accusations of senior officer corruption (re Elliot Group) and a total lack of providence in the delivery of office space. There was also the fiasco with the concert outside the library a few years ago that was cancelled before it even got going due to inadequate planning and a totally inappropriate space for such an event. Seems familiar.

There are other ways to attract much needed investment to fill public service funding holes in a way that does not infuriate local businesses and the community. This is really not one of them.

By Anonymous

Just hope this awful idea gets scrapped.

By Ire

Great , while the city is deterioting a rate last seen in the 80s , what does our council approve , a zip wire over some of our most treasured landscape , absolute disgrace , who are these approval councillors? They and the project must be kicked out

By Steve Hedley

It’s going to zip over the most boring part of town! Why not do it along the waterfront? Or be totally creative and cross the Mersey to new brighton!! Now there’s a challenge!!

By Laura

Ideal for an aerial view of all the litter left by ‘fans’??

By Just saying

No matter what Liverpool does there will always be a certain amount of jealousy and snares from Manchester. Anyone been to places like Auckland NZ etc they have these , and they are great Cities.

By Anonymous

Will bring in more tourism, backpackers, thrill seekers from all over the world ,one of many attractions within The Liverpool City Region ..cant wait to book on this

By Anonymous

A temporary zip line was set up during the Christmas period a few years ago in Liverpool. I was surprised just how noisy the pulley system itself was, regardless of the screaming coming from the people themselves.

By Jon Teire

Ridiculous and tacky I am totally opposed

By Mwhite

Laura’s idea of a zip wire across to New Brighton is a better plan. This feels like the Garden festival straw clutching of the 80s, when thousands of locals queued for temporary jobs. I hoped Liverpool had moved on from that depressing era.

By Elephant

In cities like Auckland, Seattle etc with adrenaline attractions on high rises, the modern attraction befits the modern buildings. Not Central Library and the Georgian Quarter! Use St.Johns Beacon as a start but for heavens sake terminate the lines somewhere else.

By Anonymous

really? disneyfication?!!! it’s an awful decision! historical and beautiful place will be represented as a circus.

By Leon

I have no objection against a zip wire; but dont agree with this location at all. Perhaps it has more to do with open spaces for access in case of emergencies; but there must be many other places to put it. NOT HERE!
Mary, I think you will find the first transatlantic cable went from Newfoundland to Ireland.

By Billy

William Brown street is like a fantasy land from another time, it’s just a magical place. Zip wire just has no place here, insult to injury carving into central library, a public space for learning and literature. At George’s Hall will be massively devalued by this very short sighted and hopefully short lived venture. Put the zip wire somewhere else.

By Anonymous

St John’s Gardens were laid out on the site of a cemetery.
A fact that nobody seems to be aware of.

By Philip G Mayer