Key changes to controversial Lime Street revamp set for green light

Critics argued that the original redevelopment plan would cut off the city’s bus routes from Liverpool’s mainline station.

Amendments to the controversial redesign of the area around Liverpool Lime Street station are being proposed to city councillors next week.

Critics argued that the original plans for the redevelopment of Lime Street and St George’s Plateau would cut off the city’s bus routes from Liverpool’s mainline station.

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The new plans would see buses given the green light to travel in both directions on Lime Street and a bus stop installed outside the station following the removal of access at Brownlow Hill.

The multi-million pound project was put on hold in October last year when Nottingham-based firm NMCN plc, the principal contractor behind the revamp of one of the city’s key gateways, fell into administration.

The council’s highways and transportation team were tasked with undertaking a review of the Lime Street scheme before new contractors were appointed.

The new proposals will have to be approved by city councillors at next week’s environment and climate change committee on Tuesday, 25 January.

What changes have been made to the plans?

A view of Liverpool Lime Street

The proposed alterations will 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.

When will the work begin?

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.

What’s been said

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.

“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.”

Liverpool City Centre Connectivity (LCCC) scheme

Road works on the Strand in Liverpool. Photo: Shutterstock

The redevelopment work at Lime Street, which began in October 2020, is part of a wider City Centre Connectivity Scheme, made up of eight projects.

The £47 million portfolio of projects has been hit by delays and has run significantly over budget, with some reports putting the figure at an extra £13 million.

However, the council say 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 set for Tithebarn Street and Water Street, which will see the creation of more cycle lanes to connect to The Strand.

The eight LCCC projects

The original eight projects for phase one of the City Centre Connectivity Scheme are as follows:

Lime Street: Creating a new gateway into the city from Liverpool Lime Street Station and a new events space for St George’s Plateau.

Victoria Street and Tithebarn Street: Enhancing the area for public use and improving connectivity through the city by introducing a new cycle link between Lime Street and the Waterfront.

Brownlow Hill: Enhancing the area for public use and introducing of new cycle link from Liverpool Lime Street to the Knowledge Quarter.

Moorfields: Improving the footways and introducing new trees to enhance the area and the entrance into Moorfields Station.

City bus hub: Creating a new bus layover with welfare facilities in Old Haymarket for buses leaving Queen Square bus station so reducing congestion and pollution in the city centre.

City coach park: Building an off-street parking facility and rest area for coach drivers.

Canning Dock bridges: Building four new bridges to link Salthouse Quay with Mann Island and opening up land for future development.

The Strand: Improving links for pedestrians and cyclists between the city centre shopping areas and the waterfront leisure district by reassigning existing road space along The Strand.