First three bus lane routes confirmed by Liverpool Council despite ‘traffic mayhem’ concerns
Liverpool City Council has confirmed a new plan which will lead to the readoption of five routes across the city to give buses priority on the roads
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The first three routes that could be adopted as part of a controversial new bus lanes roll out across Liverpool have been confirmed by the city council.
The scheme will lead to the readoption of five routes across the city to give buses priority on the roads. Part of a four year transport plan, the idea was endorsed by the cabinet on Tuesday evening, marking the first step towards reintroducing bus lanes a decade on from when they were first mooted to be removed.
Back in October 2014, then-Mayor Joe Anderson pressed ahead with plans to do away with bus lanes throughout the city following a year-long trial, which he said identified that dedicated lanes for public transport were not benefitting the city as planned. The new Labour administration will now seek to reverse that decision between now and 2027.
The planned routes have received a mix response from the Liverpool public, ranging from ‘a great idea’ to ‘absolutely no need’. See below for more reaction.
First Liverpool bus lanes
As part of the wide-ranging transport plan, a series of lanes have been identified that will be adopted as the authority seeks to encourage people to choose public transport over their cars.
This will incorporate the busiest areas in the wider city region, including the 10A Liverpool to St Helens, the 86 from Liverpool to Speke and John Lennon Airport, the 53 service from Liverpool to Bootle and Crosby, the 79 route from Liverpool to Halewood and Widnes, as well as the 20/21 from Liverpool to Kirkby, Tower Hill.
In a post on social media, the city council confirmed the 10A, 53 and 86 routes would be the first to be adopted. The 10A route will also be served by the Liverpool City Region’s fleet of 20 hydrogen-powered buses that leaders hope will be on the road from the end of this month.
Cllr Dan Barrington, Liverpool Council deputy leader and cabinet member for transport and connectivity, said while bus lanes had “stolen the headlines” the city was seeking to encourage public transport as a measure to address the climate crisis locally. Confirming the council’s move, he said: “Yes, we are bringing back bus lanes.”
Upgrades to public transport
The programme will be developed in partnership with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) and would provide what the city council describes as “transformational improvements” to deliver faster, more reliable and greener journeys. The five new lanes would provides dedicated road space for bus and active travels, as well as upgrades being made to junctions to give buses priority.
Traffic signals, bus stops and shelters would also be upgraded in a bid to reflect bus priority. Improvements to stops would aim to improve accessibility as well as speeding up boarding and alighting.
Currently, 62% of journeys across Merseyside are taken by car. The city council hopes the wide-ranging four year plan can shift attitudes away from getting behind the wheel.
However, former Mayor Joe Anderson slammed the idea last week. On social media, he said: “It will make no difference whatsoever the massive increase in the number of cars, is the problem creating another barrier to the flow of traffic will add to congestion not solve it. There is no evidence to suggest the removal of bus lanes has caused delays or congestion.”
- Geoff Murray said: “Please look at the disaster they where last time, they caused nothing but traffic mayhem.”
- Elaine Cliffe commented: “One minute they put bus lanes, the next minute they put it on hold. I don’t think they have a brain between them.”
- Brian Freeman was in support of bus lanes, commenting: “A great idea. I’m originally from Liverpool, but I have lived in Perth Western Australia for many years. We have bus lanes here where buses operate exclusively in peak hours. It works well because it’s quicker for people to get to work. Thereby reducing the amount of cars on the road lessens traffic jams.”
- Gill Ratcliffe added: “They were warned, it turns out we were right, stupid waste of money and time.”
- Colin Harris said: “Absolutely no need for them. Just another cash cow for fines and create more congestion and air pollution.”
- George Fasey: “Lovely way to put even more pressure on struggling businesses and discourage people from visiting Liverpool.”