The Strand Upgrade
The redesign includes a permanent cycle lane connecting the north and south of the city

Work starts on £22m Strand upgrade

Dan Whelan

The civil engineering arm of construction firm Graham is to deliver works to redesign one of Liverpool’s most famous roads, making it more cycle-friendly, improving public spaces and reducing congestion. 

The Strand runs past Royal Albert Docks, Liverpool One and the Three Graces, comprising the Liver Building, the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool building. 

Two lanes, one in each direction, will be removed to improve the flow of traffic.  

Cllr Sharon Connor, cabinet member for highways at Liverpool City Council, said: “By significantly redesigning how the junctions work we can take a lane out and the traffic will still flow better.”  

Junctions at Water Street and Mann Island with Goree will be closed under the plans. 

The scheme will also see the creation of a permanent segregated cycle lane to connect the south of Liverpool to the north, allowing cyclists to eventually ride the full length of the Mersey, from Otterspool to Southport. 

Several trees, the planting of which is already underway, and public spaces, are also being installed as part of a wider strategy to promote walking in the city centre. 

The 2km dual carriageway has not been redesigned since the 1950s and is often gridlocked at peak times. 

The road has also become a hotspot for road accidents with four fatalities in the past two years, the city council said.  

Designed by infrastructure firm Amey alongside Liverpool-based architect BCA Landscape, the first phase is scheduled to complete in September, with the second phase from Mann Island to Upper Parliament Street due to complete in spring 2021.  

The project is part of the £47m Liverpool City Centre Connectivity scheme, which has already seen changes to Victoria Street and Dale Street and the removal of the Churchill Way Flyover. The scheme will also include a revamp of Lime Street near the train station and a new coach park. 

Based on computer modelling, the council estimates that car journeys at peak times along The Strand, from the end of Leeds Street in the north to Upper Parliament Street in the south, will be reduced by more than a minute in both directions.   

Cllr Conner said: “The road’s safety record is appalling. Redesigning the Strand has been a huge task and is critical to making Liverpool city centre fit for the future; safer, cleaner and greener for everyone to enjoy.” 

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Would it not have been prudent to just try a trial period of coning off the reduced lanes to see how the traffic flows cope with the new restrictions? If you have ever seen the queues that form when a vehicle stops or breaks down, particularly large ones it can take a long time to clear it and when the emergency services have to navigate the lanes of traffic at present with the extra lane is bad enough. So time will tell but not a good idea to experiment first?

By Man on a bicycle

For a city on a broadly north-south orientation its provision of cross-city routes along that axis is woeful – hence the existing huge load on The Strand.

Claiming that taking it from 5 lanes to 3 on each carriageway will reduce congestion is living in fantasy land. Just as the long drawn-out roadworks on Renshaw St led to the demise of Rapid Hardware, I await with dread the impact this will have on city centre retail and leisure patronage, particularly at Liverpool ONE.

By Sceptical

This is the main route between the north and south of the city and as it was pointed out to Cllr Malcom Kennedy when he first launched the idea at a committee meeting to the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce several years ago, that this is the route which container trucks use to and thro to the freightliner terminal in Garston. This was not addressed during his questioning afterwards?

By On the dock

@manonabicycle surely this is right up your street?

By Anonymous

Most of the dual carriageway north from here (being “upgraded” at cost of millions from dual carriageway to dual carriageway with small central reservation) is still coned off. Perhaps they could finish that first?

Perhaps they could also finish the dock road cycle lane. Not only do cyclists have to deal with the dirt and pollution inherent to this road, they also have to put up with non functioning infrastructure, and a lane which suddenly dumps them out into traffic.

That they would put the cycle lane down there, with all the lorries pulling in and out, plus the stuff above, shows the quality of decision making.

Is it even important whether the people benefit/suffer? Or just important that contracts get awarded?

By Mike

No grade A office space, or HS2 and all they think about is the flow of traffic.


By Michael McDonut

More cycle lanes, trees and pedestrianisation are paramount on the Strand. It is time to put the environment and people first, instead of trying to keep up with the Manchester`s and the Leeds`s.

By Bixteth Boy

Sorry placenorthwest, you blew it in your first line, when you wrote deliver. Nothing gets delivered in Liverpool. Great Howard street. New paving and road surfacing. 5 years and still no end to it. At the same time the dock road, which runs parallel was also dug up. There is a long list of infrastructure projects that never seem to finish. If only we could travel around the city on zip wires.

By Paul

@Paul Victoria street looks good? It’s finished no?

By LiverMan

Reducing the number of lanes and hence capacity of an already busy route and then claiming it will improve traffic flow is typical Orwellian doublespeak.

As with all projects like this though nobody with any influence is going to hold it to account when it has failed.

By Liverbird