A far-reaching multi-million pound scheme to make Liverpool city centre easier to navigate for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists is to begin next week.
Liverpool City Council has instructed contractors GRAHAM to undertake the first package of works for the £45m Liverpool City Centre Connectivity (LCCC) scheme, which will focus on re-engineering major routes from the city’s commercial district through to the city’s retail and knowledge districts.
The first element will begin on Monday, 4 February on Victoria Street, running from North John Street to the Queensway Tunnel, which will include the widening of pavements, removal of bus layovers as well as tree planting and new public realm features.
Expected to complete in November these works will complement the new Victoria Street Car Park and the recent refurbishment of the Metquarter retail and leisure hub.
The LCCC scheme is being supported by a £38.4m grant from the Local Growth Fund with city council match funding of £8.7m. Local Growth Funding is awarded to the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and invested through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority through its Strategic Investment Fund.
The remaining elements of this first package include:
- Improvements to Tithebarn Street and Moorfields – which will mirror the works previously carried out to Castle Street and Bixteth Street to enhance Liverpool’s Commercial District. These works, which will improve the pedestrian experience outside a major underground train station, will run from June to September. Investigations works will begin on Monday, 4 February in preparation.
- The second element will be a new City Centre Bus Hub on Old Haymarket, which is the subject of a planning application. It has been estimated the new hub together with re-routed bus services would annually cut 900,000 km of journeys, and 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, by providing a permanent layover facility.
- Improvement works to Brownlow Hill to support the city council’s masterplan for the Knowledge Quarter Gateway which is being designed to better connect the edge of the retail district to the city centre’s universities, as well as the council’s £1bn Paddington Village development. These works will run April to October.
- A new, improved city coach park by expanding the existing facility on Riverside Drive to accommodate 30 vehicles. Work on this element will begin in September and complete in February 2020.
One of the key aims of the LCCC scheme is to improve the public realm in the city centre and enhance Liverpool’s international appeal to investors, shoppers and tourists with its visitor economy, currently valued at £3.6bn/year, expected to grow by 25% over the next 10 years.
Councillor James Noakes, Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “The phenomenal growth of Liverpool city centre over the past two decades has created many new challenges and new opportunities.
‘’With a growing residential population, a huge rise in visitors and major developments now taking shape, how we navigate around the city centre needs a radical rethink in key locations and some major improvements.
‘’This new connectivity scheme addresses many of our current and future needs to improve the city centre welcome and provide an experience befitting a world class city.
‘”The beginning of phase one at Victoria Street signals a new chapter for how we use our city centre, which when fully completed will open up some exciting opportunities in our public realm and will redefine how everyone from residents, workers, shoppers, students and tourists can enjoy exploring and discovering this amazing city.’’
Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, Jake Berry MP, said: “Ensuring that communities are well connected is central to delivering the Government’s Industrial Strategy and building a Northern Powerhouse that’s fit for our shared future.
“The transformation to Liverpool City Centre, made possible by more than £38m from the Local Growth Fund, will improve people’s journeys and support businesses to thrive by increasing the city’s appeal to visitors and investors from across the UK and beyond.”
Jennina O’Neill, Metquarter centre manager and acting chair of Retail & Leisure BID, said: “We’re delighted the LCCC scheme is soon to be underway and the team at Metquarter welcome these new plans.
“We’re certain this will have a positive impact on not only the businesses in Liverpool but also for the thousands of shoppers and tourists we welcome into the city each month.
“The revamp will further improve the connectivity between our beautiful streets, remarkable architecture and striking buildings, enhancing the environment and creating better links around the city.
“We can’t wait to see the transformation this will bring, continuing to position Liverpool as the go-to destination for culture, arts and shopping.”
Some of the works will impact how people start or end their journeys within the city centre, but information will be available to help people plan ahead. Information for bus users affected by the Victoria Street works is available at www.merseytravel.gov.uk
The remaining packages of the LCCC scheme will see a remodelling of Lime Street, with a new event space, and The Strand as well as the introduction of new bridges across Canning Dock to enhance the visitor experience to the city’s museums and World Heritage site.
The LCCC scheme is one of the flagship highways projects in the city council’s wider £500m Better Roads programme.
This also includes a £100m programme to upgrade the city’s North Liverpool corridor with the creation of two new waterfront link roads to support the council’s proposed new Cruise Liner Terminal and a new Isle of Man Ferry Terminal at Peel Land and Property’s £5bn Liverpool Waters scheme.