One of Liverpool’s busiest roads will be closed to cars today as the city celebrates World Car Free Day.
The Strand, which runs along the city’s historic waterfront, is set to be transformed into a stage for a programme of free live music from several LIMF Academy artists and healthy activities.
It will be closed between 10am and 4pm in both directions, from Chapel Street to James Street - outside the Three Graces - on Thursday, September 22.
The closure is part of an active travel campaign by Liverpool City Council to encourage motorists to think twice about using their car for journeys. It comes in the week a £2 cap is placed on all bus journeys in the Liverpool City Region.
Cllr Dan Barrington, Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet member for Transport and Climate Change, said: “World Car Free Day is an opportunity for everyone to try a different way of getting from a to b that is better for them and the planet.
“I know this closure will cause some inconvenience but when it comes to the environment we have to accept that the car is causing a huge amount of damage - to our lungs and as an accelerator to climate change.
“As a society we need to rely less and less on the car and move towards a more balanced active travel approach – with a greater use of public transport too.”
Simon O’Brien, Liverpool City Region’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner said: “This will allow everyone in the city centre to think about what the city will look like in the future. Urban spaces for people.
“Congestion doesn’t need to be any worse because of the closure if everyone decides to leave the car at home for one day and try a new way of commuting.
Liverpool’s active travel campaign
The active travel campaign is a long-term bid to improve the city’s air quality and develop healthier lifestyles.
As part of this programme, the council is currently consulting on upgrading three cycle lanes in the city with plans on a further four routes to be announced later this year.
It is also piloting a number of “school streets” to improve the school run - where some raods will be temporarily closed.
The local authority has also just completed a multi-million pound upgrade to The Strand, which handles more than 1,000 vehicles per hour on a usual working day.
This included widening pavements, installing 100 new trees and creating a purpose-built segregated two-way cycle lane as part of a bid to improve the environment and safety along the busy thoroughfare.
Free activities on Word Car Free Day
On Word Car Free Day, people can enjoy a wide range of free activities on The Strand, between 11am and 3pm, including:
- Live 30-minute fitness class by JD Gyms
- Live 30-minute fitness class from Lifestyles
- Smoothie Bikes – make your own smoothie by pedalling fast!
- Col8 bikes to ride around The Strand
- Inflatable obstacle courses
- Free freshly backed healthy snacks from Squash Nutrition
- Free coffee from a local coffee supplier
- PLUS the chance to have your bike serviced and checked.
Diversions and restrictions
A series of diversions will be in place on the day from 9am redirecting vehicles away from The Strand via Leeds Street and Grove Street. The closed stretch of The Strand is expected to reopen by 5pm.
Access will be maintained to the blue badge bays on Brunswick Street / Mann Island throughout the day.
The One Stop Shop in the Cunard Building is closed on a Thursday.