Liverpool Strand revamp delayed until after Eurovision in May 2023

Liverpool will be hosting Eurovision on behalf of Ukraine.

The second stage of a major redevelopment of a major Liverpool thoroughfare has been delayed until after the city stages Eurovision.

The multi-million pound revamp of The Strand from Bath Street to James Street was finalised in November last year after work began in June 2020. In a bid to improve links for pedestrians and cyclists between the city centre and waterfront, new trees and public spaces were installed.

However, it was confirmed the second phase of the project will now not go ahead until the city hosts Eurovision next May. Liverpool was chosen as the UK host city last week, stepping in for last year’s winner Ukraine, who cannot host owing to the ongoing Russian invasion. Before last year’s completion, the Strand has remained largely unchanged since the 1950s.

Peter Randles, interim highways manager, told the council’s climate change and environment select committee that work on the scheme would not go ahead for at least another seven months. It had been expected on completion of the first section, the second phase of the £22m project would begin by Spring this year.

The works will include major changes to Strand between James Street junction and Liver Street. These will be the continuation of segregated cycle lanes, new traffic signal equipment at all junctions, road markings and traffic signs, LED street lights, street trees, drainage improvements and carriageway resurfacing.

The council, key stakeholders and funders are currently reviewing the designs of this work. Consensus is needed to be reached between all partners on the future inclusion or exclusion of the bus lane and resolving some active travel routes and junctions.

As part of the first phase, a lane was removed in both directions as well as a number of junctions. A new segregated two-way cycle lane was put in place as well as new seating and the planting of more than 80 trees.

To date, Liverpool Council has spent more than £62.6m on major projects including Lime Street, with around £4.5m remaining in its budget that has covered work at Tithebarn Street – the contract for which will be awarded next year. The overall City Centre Connectivity Scheme – which included Lime Street, The Strand and demolishing flyovers – had been expected to cost the city around £47m when it was first announced.

This figure rose to £55m come 2021, rising again in July last year.