Bus lane reinstallation ‘some way off’ admit Liverpool Council bosses

The reinstallation of bus lanes in Liverpool is still “some way off” according to council officials.

It was revealed last September how the local authority moved to adopt a new plan which will lead to the readoption of five routes across the city to give buses priority on the roads.

As part of a four-year transport plan endorsed by the cabinet, the first step towards reintroducing bus lanes a decade on from they were first mooted to be scrapped.

Despite the initial routes being outlined, city council transport bosses have said their full implementation is still a way away.

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. The new Labour administration will now seek to reverse that decision between now and 2027.

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.

Andrew Mollon, Liverpool Council sustainable transport director, told the sustainable, safe and thriving neighbourhoods committee how while progress had been made on tackling contraventions around moving traffic in the city, the reintroduction of bus lanes was “some way off at this moment in time”.

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 provide 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.

Further bus links have been earmarked for around Liverpool Waters developments and Bramley Moore Dock stadium, central Liverpool and the Knowledge Quarter to improve commuter and retail links, as well as improving connectivity in the south of the city. A further six areas have been identified as potential traffic-free green corridors, which link parks, green spaces and recreational sites with centres of employment, homes and community activity.

Mr Mollon said however, these additional links are “some time off”.

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