Council moves forward with plans for a £10m ‘vital cycle link for people in Wirral’

The scheme will be funded through £10m from the Liverpool City Region’s sustainable transport fund.
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Wirral Council is moving forward with plans for a £10m “vital cycle link for people in Wirral.”

The proposed cycle lane will run from Birkenhead to Liscard and is phase one of a longer six mile route. The second phase will run from Liscard to New Brighton and down Wallasey Grove Road.

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Wirral is now moving ahead with the first phase and asking for public feedback on the plans up to Liscard. The scheme will be funded through £10m from the Liverpool City Region’s sustainable transport fund which is ring fenced for new cycling and walking infrastructure.

This means it cannot be used to fund other council services and can only be used on new cycle lanes. It can’t be used for maintaining existing cycle lanes but if the money is handed back, it might mean Wirral gets less funding for new infrastructure in the future.

The cycle is part of plans “to develop a comprehensive cycling and walking network for people in Wirral” connecting to a wider network across the Liverpool City Region. Development of this network is a requirement under the National Infrastructure Act 2015 according to the council.

Cycle lane plans

17 roads could be changed as part of the plans for Phase 1. These are Chester Street, Duncan Street, Hamilton Square, Cleveland Street, Taylor Street, Canning Street, Egerton Wharf, Tower Wharf, Tower Road, Kelvin Road, Wheatland Lane, St Paul’s Road, Church Road, Wheatland Lane, Mainwaring Road, Liscard Road, and Liscard Way.

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These changes include improved footpaths, junctions and crossings as well as more street seating, trees, and plants. Cycle parking will also be provided and routes will either be separate from the road or on quieter streets with some made one way.

As for car parking, all roads will still be accessible to cars but narrowed to encourage lower traffic speeds. Parking will be provided in laybys and parking bays with residential and short stay given priority.

20mph speed limits are also proposed on some roads though this will be subject to further engagement by the council along with any parking changes and one way streets.

What has been said?

Regeneration committee chair Cllr Tony Jones said: “A lot of work has gone into developing and designing the route so far, taking into account feedback from residents and stakeholders during an initial consultation in 2020.

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“This isn’t just another cycle lane, this has the potential to be transformative in terms of how people make their everyday journeys to work, school or for shopping or leisure. It is also a key part in Wirral’s plans to deliver sustainable, accessible and inclusive regeneration of this part of the borough over the coming years.”

Environment and transport chair Cllr Liz Grey added: “We have a responsibility, not only as a local authority and a City Region, but also as a country, to provide better and more comprehensive facilities that will encourage people to walk, cycle or scoot more.

“The widespread nature of this consultation and engagement process shows people just how serious we are about delivering these changes with the support of residents. Of course it is partly about reducing the number of journeys made by cars, but mostly it is about ensuring those residents who don’t have access to a car, or choose not to travel by car, also have options.”

Simon O’Brien, Liverpool City Region Walking and Cycling Commissioner said: “The Birkenhead to Liscard active travel scheme will help to provide a vital cycle link for people in Wirral as well as enhancing the look of this very important stretch of road.

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“Now is your opportunity to tell us what you think of these plans. Have your say and the feedback will help Wirral Council and the Combined Authority improve the way this scheme works for everyone – whether they’re regular bike users or not.”

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