The first phase of a wider 373-mile walking and cycling route across the Liverpool City Region is set to go ahead after securing £8.3m of funding.
The proposed network is focussed on upgrades to 31 key routes across the region; these link Liverpool city centre to Speke; Prescot with Runcorn; Seaforth to Southport; and Leasowe to Seacombe Ferry Terminal.
The latter route is designed to join Leasowe train station with the numerous housing and employment sites planned for Wirral Waters as well as the ferry terminal.
The Liverpool Loop Line, linking Broadgreen and Rice Line Stations as well as linking housing estates at Norris Green to employment sites including Alder Hey Hospital, is also to be improved.
In St Helens, a 4-mile route will be upgraded to improve the town centre’s connections with Burtonwood and the employment sites at Omega beyond.
These routes add up to around 34 miles of walking and cycling routes and improvements are set to complete in 2020, with each local authority responsible for the works in their area.
The £8.3m of funding to support the delivery was signed off by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority last week and has been provided by the ERDF Sustainable Urban Development funding.
This money will also help support a pilot project by Liverpool John Moores University to look at methods of collecting cycling and walking trip data to develop a cycling app and journey planner for the city region.
Liverpool Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “We are at a pivotal stage in transforming provision for cycling and walking. Getting the infrastructure right to make it a real choice for more people means less congestion, cleaner air and better health.
“There are also wider benefits to the economy. Safe, pleasant cycling and walking areas, linking well to public transport and key locations, help create those places where people want to live, work and invest. And if you are walking or cycling, you are not sitting in traffic clocking up lost working hours– something that benefits employees and employers.
“We want people across the city region to work with us to develop ideas to get more people cycling and walking more, so the network we develop is built for them.
“We can’t transform the situation overnight, but devolution gives us the powers to plan strategically to improve facilities for walking and cycling across the city region, putting our investment in the right places so we can make a difference.”