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City Centre Connectivity Scheme solution proposed

Amendments to the redesign of one of Liverpool’s major roads are being proposed to city councillors next week.

Buses could be given the green light to travel in both directions on Lime Street, if this latest proposal is approved by city councillors at next week’s Environment and Climate Change Committee (Tuesday, 25 January).

The Council’s Highways and Transportation team were tasked with undertaking a review of the Lime Street scheme, following the original contractor going into administration last Autumn.

The alteration will also include enhanced pedestrian crossings, improved cycle facilities, secure cycle parking, a bus stop outside Lime Street Station, disabled parking facilities and the introduction of a 20 mph zone together with access-only restrictions on Lime Street, between Queens Square Bus Station and London Road.

The road has already been narrowed from Lime Street Station up to the Adelphi Hotel, and no further changes are planned here.

The Lime Street scheme had originally included a new water feature at the northern end of St George’s Hall, but it is now being proposed that this feature should be removed, to allow for the reconnection of the historic Steble Fountain at the southern end of the Grade I listed venue.

The select committee will meet to scrutinise the new proposals, which will require an additional £1.5m due to the pre-Christmas safety works which were necessary to be undertaken when the contractor went into administration.

After the select committee, the proposals will then go to the Council’s Cabinet meeting on Friday, 4 February for final approval.

If approval is granted, contractors will be engaged to complete the scheme. The resurfacing works, which will see the installation of a cycle lane, will then go out to tender. It is expected all works will be complete by summer.

The Lime Street scheme, which also includes a widening of St George’s Plateau, is part of the Liverpool City Centre Connectivity programme. The LCCC programme has already delivered upgrades to key roads such as: The Strand, Dale Street and Victoria Street and has created a dedicated new bus hub and coach park.

Works on the southern section of The Strand are expected to begin in the summer, with similar works programmed for Tithebarn Street and Water Street which will see the creation of more cycle lanes to connect to The Strand.

A key focus of the LCCC programme, which is part funded by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, is to improve accessibility for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport with the aim of improving road safety, congestion and air quality levels in the city centre.

Councillor Dan Barrington, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, said: “The Lime Street scheme has generated quite a few problems, not least the collapse of the original contractor and we apologise for the delays and disruption this has caused.

“However, this gave us the opportunity to revisit the design of the scheme especially the biggest complaint we were receiving – the removal of access for buses at Brownlow Hill.

“I’d like to thank the officers and the engineers for their hard work in this proposed redesign. It’s a good compromise and one which ensures the overall aims of improving the Lime Street experience, without hurting bus users on certain key routes.

“I look forward to the discussion at select committee, where members will be able to hear and test the thinking behind these revisions. Once everything is agreed, and the works are finally completed one thing is for certain – Liverpool city centre will have a gateway it can be proud of.”