Old Haymarket Bus Hub

Old Haymarket bus hub returns to planners

Liverpool City Council’s planning committee will again discuss proposals for a bus hub at Old Haymarket after deferring a decision on the scheme earlier this year.

The bus hub proposal is part of the first phase of Liverpool’s £47m City Centre Connectivity project, which focusses on re-engineering routes in and out of the city’s commercial and retail districts.

The site is currently used as a 39-space pay-and-display car park, owned and maintained by the city council. Liverpool City Council is proposing six bus bays in the car park and a further six on Old Haymarket itself – a street that houses several retail businesses and the Travelodge Liverpool Central.

Merseytravel predicts that up to 120 buses per hour will move through the site during the day between 7am and 7pm, with an average lay-over time of approximately five minutes, with less frequent use in the hours before and after.

In total, there will be just under 1,700 bus movements through the hub in each 24-hour period.

The site was selected as it is already in public ownership and is close enough to Queens Square bus station that “dead mileage” will be significantly lower than in alternative sites. The application site sits within the William Brown conservation area, next to the listed Queensway tunnel entrance.

A decision was due to be made in January but was deferred pending a site visit, with several councillors raising objections.

Cllrs Small and Banks, while supporting a potential bus hub in the city centre, argued against the impact on the retail and leisure businesses in Old Haymarket and the loss of mature trees, although all but one of the area’s 12 mature trees are to be retained. A total of 136 objections have been made by members of the public.

Cllrs Sullivan, Brown, and Crone have all also objected to the scheme on similar grounds.

However, the project has again been recommended for approval by planning officers when the committee meets next week. Planning officers argued the proposed site was “the most appropriate location” for a bus hub. Turley is advising as planner.

Other parts of the CCC project are already under way. Widening of pavements, removal of bus layovers, and public realm improvements along Victoria Street, running between North John Street to the Queensway Tunnel started earlier this year.

Improved connections to the Knowledge Quarter Gateway are also set to get under way with works to Brownlow Hill, starting in April and completing in September next year.

Also starting in April, Graham will carry out improvements to Tithebarn Street and Moorfields, with work continuing until November. There will also be works to expand the existing coach parking facility at Riverside Drive to accommodate 30 additional vehicles; this will start in July and complete in November.

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Will totally ruin what is, in essence, a pleasant stretch of road, in full view of the William Brown street WHS. What’s more, what is currently a pleasant view over towards the art-deco tunnel entrance will be ruined and compromised by large double decker buses. The planning department and council officers seem to have little sensitivity to or awareness of the city’s aesthetics – and so not at all sure why they are thinking of extending the WHS. Protect what you have already.

By JA

Could be done with electric bus charging technology to improve the image of parked buses and fit with the green surroundings there / the city.

By Anonymous

Possibly the most ridiculous decision based on pleasing the bus operators and Merseytravel. Insanity from LCC planners. This will not reduce air quality impacts just move the problem to a sensitive and pleasant area!

By A Had

Something needs to happen with the bus’s parked on Victoria Street, its absolutely ridiculous at the moment. At rush hour there are always 2/3 bus’s parked in bus stops effectively cutting down the main arterial route out of the city to 1 lane which causes chaos amongst drivers whilst bus drivers are sat in their seats reading the daily sport on a break……. Only in Liverpool.

By Sean

That this is location is being considered for approval is astounding. This is one of the only open areas containing mature trees in the city centre. It is also just over the road from St George’s Hall and the surrounding listed buildings, the view of which will be destroyed from this location. This will also impinge on the views from these buildings and will create an(other) eyesore for the thousands of people visiting these buildings each year. It will also affect the air quality for anyone spending time in St James Gardens, a place where lots of people eat lunch. Not only this, but it will have hugely negative affect on the businesses that are positioned right next to this site. The outdoor seating at the cafe is likely to become redundant as the fumes from the buses will make the whole area really unpleasant and extremely unhealthy.

By Anonymous

The choice of location for the bus hub is nothing to do with city planners, rather to do with Highways and Transporatation staff. The only involvement the planners have is to determine the application for the change of use of the council’s land from a pay & display car park to bus layover area/bus stand.

By Anonymous

1700 buses in 24 hours; if a quarter of those bus drivers all bought a tea/coffee at £2.50 that’s over £1000 in hot drinks alone! sounds like good business to me.

By Anonymous

Public money being spent to provide what amounts to an open air bus depot for the benefit of mainly one private company. How much are they contributing towards this facility, being built on city centre land?

By Mike

@anonymous, St James Gardens are over 1 mile away, what are you talking about?

By Abots

I guess they mean St John’s Gardens, but yeah demonstrates a lack of serious knowledge of the area.

Turn a car park into a bus park, next to major, already fume pumping arterial roads, taking busses off thoroughfares. Sounds sensible. I’ve heard it suggested the taxi rank near The Shakespeare might be a good alternative, but otherwise this seems a sensible plan.

I’m guessing the majority of objectors are people who live in flats nearby, don’t have to use busses and seem forever confused, having moved to the city centre, that it’s kinda busy, full of traffic, has a lot of development and isn’t like the suburbs. Which is strange when you think about it really. Why do people move to town if they don’t expect it to be intensely urban.

By SP

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