Council plans to move forward with Birkenhead to Liscard cycle lane

Wirral Council is planning to move forward with a £10m cycle line connecting Liscard to Birkenhead.

The local authority voted to go ahead with plans for a cycle lane between Birkenhead and New Brighton in 2022 though it is only moving forward with phase one of the scheme for the time being.

The current plans are for a continuous cycle route to run from Hamilton Square to Liscard with changes to 17 roads.

The scheme is currently projected to cost around £10m though this is based on a dated projection that the whole scheme extending to New Brighton would cost £18m. Therefore the cost is expected to increase further due to continued inflation since 2020.

The funding for the scheme is expected to be covered by active travel grants awarded to the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority which are earmarked for improvements to help people walk and cycle.

A Wirral Council environment committee report said some concerns raised about the scheme would be taken into account with further designs and asked councillors to approve moving a business case forward for the scheme.

The report said the scheme needs to progress so that it can be delivered between 2027 and 2032 or Wirral could face “losing out on a significant funding opportunity”.

It also said the plans tie into the wider regeneration of west Wirral and “deliver a sustainable left bank of the Mersey which includes increased levels of journeys being undertaken by active modes as a key part of the vision”.

In 2023, the council asked for public feedback on the plans, sending letters out to more than 8,000 homes and businesses, local doorknocking, paid social media adverts, and emails to over 22,000 people. Previous consultations on the route had been criticised as “woeful” by Conservative councillors in 2022.

Nearly 50,000 were reached on social media too, but only 366 people responded to the consultation with 45% in support, 44% against, and 11% neither. Responses varied between wards with 75% in support in Birkenhead but 48.9% and 61.9% against in Seacombe and Liscard.

Overall more than 50% either agreed or strongly agreed the council should improve roads and footpaths “to help people who wish to walk and cycle achieve a more active lifestyle” as well as cycle and walk to nearby shops, schools, and work.

While some objections argued the routes would be little used, the committee report said more active routes delivered will increase cycling and walking.

Image credit: Wirral Council

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