Controversial temporary cycle lanes in Liverpool to become permanent

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The pop-up cycle lanes were installed during the covid-19 pandemic.

Temporary cycle lanes installed during the covid-19 pandemic across Liverpool are to become permanent.

In Spring 2020, seven temporary pop-up cycle lanes lanes were set up on three routes including Vauxhall Road, West Derby Road, and Sefton Park to the City Centre. They are now in a poor state of repair and have been deemed unfit for purpose.

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Following a public consultation on the schemes, Liverpool Council’s cabinet is expected to adopt the routes permanently at Sefton Park and West Derby Road. An additional public engagement exercise has been launched for the wider Liverpool Loop Line, which incorporates Vauxhall Road.

Despite concerns the programme would reduce traffic lanes along West Derby Road, the local authority said the current number of lanes would not be impacted.

A report to the city council cabinet in October last year said initially the pop-up schemes were never intended to be permanent highway measures, but rather a “relatively low cost and rapid method of implementing segregated cycle schemes over long lengths to encourage cycling as a result of the pandemic.”

Improvements to be achieved through the permanent adoption of the routes include upgrades to footways, new crossing facilities to remove barriers to movement, and carriageway resurfacing, including drainage and street lighting. The cabinet report said the council will be reliant on “various funding sources” to convert the routes.

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This includes the Highways Improvement Programme (HIP), Active Travel England allocations and other applicable central government grants. The schemes for West Derby Road and Vauxhall Road will continue to be developed and detailed design carried out, as funding becomes available.

Discussions are taking place to secure funding for Sefton Park route and it is hoped that this will become available within the next 12 months. The council said there had been “overwhelming” support for this route but around 65% of those who engaged with the consultation over West Derby Road had responded negatively.

The report said: “However, a large proportion of these responses were based on the assumption that scheme delivery would result in West Derby Road becoming one lane in each direction, as per the temporary / pop-up arrangement. However, the proposed layout maintains two lanes in each direction and retains traffic capacity at junctions.”

As a result, the council said disregarding those responses would “indicate a good level of support for the West Derby Road route.” On Vauxhall Road and the Liverpool Loop North, additional engagement with residents and businesses has been requested, so this will be scheduled for the summer and reported back to the council’s new cabinet in Autumn.

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A further three cycle routes are also being delivered by the city council, including a major upgrade to the Liverpool Loop Line and a new learn to cycle facility for children in Everton Park which is opening soon.

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