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.