A network of temporary cycle lanes are to be introduced in Liverpool to help kick-start the city’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Mayor of Liverpool Jhas green lit a £2m package to introduce potentially up to 100km of pop-up cycle lanes along key routes into and within the city centre.
The programme includes installing new street furniture in the city centre to enable people to socialise safely at distance and ease the way for pavement cafés to operate once restrictions are lifted.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our way of life beyond imagination but the challenges it has presented has also provided us with a once in a lifetime opportunity to reimagine how we use and travel within our cities. We are already doing much to alter how people move around Liverpool city centre but we must now go further than we ever dreamed possible and use our highways network in a way that balances the needs of our economy, our health and our environment.
“This £2m programme for temporary cycle lanes is just one step on the long road to recovery. Hopefully these measures will provide businesses and their workforce strong alternatives if they don’t want to use public transport and don’t have access to a car.”
Liverpool City Council has reviewed traffic movements in the centre to best understand to support people going back to work as the government begins to slowly ease lockdown restrictions for certain sectors.
Two key corridors have been identified for temporary cycle lanes and five more major routes under review.
Over the weekend work was started on:
As well as the network of temporary cycle lanes, the Mayor is looking at the temporary widening of pavements around transport hubs within the city centre to enable social distancing, and has instructed the Council’s highways department to revamp the citybike scheme.
Liverpool City Council is currently undertaking a £45m redesign of the city centre, which has seen widening of pavements on key routes such as Victoria Street, introducing 11km of new permanent cycle lanes and is about to look at expanding its 20mph zones.
The Mayor is inviting councillors, businesses and the public to come forward with ideas on how to improve access for cyclists and pedestrians around the city centre.
Cllr Sharon Connor, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “Walking and cycling has seen a huge upsurge since the lockdown began as for many it has been the only way to exercise. This shift has seen a huge boost to people’s wellbeing and that of our communities and it’s vital we don’t lose that.
“In some ways quieter roads has been a blessing to our environment and our stress levels but as some sectors slowly get back to work, we need to ensure those transport alternatives are viable and plentiful so that those who want to continue to walk or cycle can do so safely.”
Simon O’Brien, Liverpool’s Cycling Commissioner, added: “This terrible disease has meant we had to change how we live our lives overnight. Now it’s time to change the way we live in our city for the future. These pop-up cycle lanes will allow everyone to make a choice of how we travel around Liverpool. It also an amazing opportunity to test out the permanent network of cycle lanes that the Mayor has asked me to help create in the next few years.
“This is the moment for every community to rethink; not just the city centre but our local high streets and our own neighbourhoods. Let’s banish the worst of this terrible pandemic and hold on to the surprising pleasures of lockdown. Safe, quiet streets, clean air and a rediscovered love of the world on our doorsteps. These bike lanes will be a vital part of new even better Liverpool where people come first.”
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