Following the publication of a masterplan for the entirety of the emerging Knowledge Quarter, KQ Liverpool has set out a plan for the future of transport infrastructure within the city, calling for global innovators in transport to “get in touch”.
Writing in the introduction to KQ Liverpool’s Transport Vision document, chief executive Colin Sinclair said: “At 450 acres, the KQ Liverpool Mayoral Development Zone is almost half of the city centre, so what we do here with transport will impact across the city region and beyond. Using the very latest technology, we want to make our city the best connected and easiest to access in the UK.
“The proposal here, to attract a futuristic transport pilot, is just the start of what we can achieve together.”
Key priorities set out in the document include the opening of a station to serve the Knowledge Quarter, a ‘green grid’ of enhanced walking and cycling routes and the introduction of a new street-level transport system. It is made clear that the 20-minute uphill walk from Lime Street to the edges of the Knowledge Quarter count against the area in accessibility terms.
As far as the station is concerned, the proposal is to connect Edge Hill station to the east of the Knowledge Quarter to Central Station by bringing the existing Wapping Tunnel back into use.
The document references several cities for possible inspiration with street transport as it seeks to deliver a high frequency, convenient transit route – the Boulevard Carnot raised busway in Cannes, which has the flexibility to be adapted for trams; Tallinn, where driverless shuttle buses were trialled this summer; and Tampa’s streetcar system, which links 11 stops in a 2.7-mile route.
Liverpool’s proposal for Liverpool is the Lime Line, which would run from Lime Street through the Knowledge Quarter, with a second phase that would directly link all the areas included – proposed stops include Sensor City, the Royal and Paddington Village – through the lower part of the city to the waterfront. A transport mode is yet to be defined.
A similar system to Tampa’s could be a relatively low-cost project complementing Merseyrail, the report observes: “A similar transport link for Liverpool would not need to be a citywide network with multiple lines, as Merseyrail already does that.”
The team advising Knowledge Quarter on the masterplan and transport strategy is K2 Architects, Mott MacDonald, and How Planning. Speaking at the launch of the Knowledge Quarter masterplan at MIPIM UK, Mark Davies, co-founder of K2, outlined the vision for the area, and announced plans for a new “front door to Liverpool”, called Lime Square, to be created outside the exit from Central Station, transforming the land around the Adelphi Hotel into public realm.
“The plan for Knowledge Quarter is about breaking down boundaries and reconnecting the different neighborhoods of Liverpool. We’ve always had edges and boundaries but now we need to reconnect.”
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson also spoke at the event. The council recently secured provisional CPO powers to bring together the land for the Knowledge Quarter Gateway site, which includes the Britannia-owned Adelphi Hotel, and the Mount pleasant car park.
“We won’t be held back by people creating an inertia around that area,” he told Place North West. “It has to be developed in a complementary fashion. My message to landowners in the area is, engage, or we will take action.”
- MIPIM UK coverage is brought to you in association with Willmott Dixon. Place North West can be found on stand H34