Dock Branch Park plans move ahead

A major step forward is set to be agreed upon in the delivery of a new park in central Birkenhead.

Dock Branch Park is intended to be at the heart of a new neighbourhood in Birkenhead adjacent to the town centre.

Based on the land that formed one of the oldest railway lines in the world the site is now being proposed to become a linear park providing a link for walking and cycling. It will connect the new urban garden village at Hind Street with Wirral Waters, passing through the heart of the town.

The council is now close to agreeing the acquisition of the land with owner, Network Rail, and will be carrying out surveys of the numerous bridges which cross the former railway line and check what work they need before the transfer of the site is agreed.

Dock Branch Park is one of the catalyst projects which form a key part of the Birkenhead 2040 Framework, which sets out a 20-year plan for the transformational regeneration of Birkenhead.

It is inspired by The High Line in New York and aims to deliver the 800m long linear park bringing nature and communal spaces to the central Birkenhead area.

The land includes seven bridges and one tunnel that would be transferred to the Council’s ownership:

Cleveland Street Bridge
Brook Street East Bridge
Price Street Bridge
Adelphi Street Bridge
Argyle Street Bridge
Waterloo Place Bridge
Mollington Link Bridge
Haymarket Tunnel

These structures would become the responsibility of Wirral Council to maintain and all the bridges will be surveyed to determine if they need to be replaced or repaired.

A report to the Director of Regeneration and Place recommends the approval of the Regeneration Delivery Team to undertake bridge superstructure assessments on five bridges and one tunnel along the route of the Dock Branch rail corridor.

Chair of Wirral Council’s Economy, Regeneration and Housing Committee, Cllr Tony Jones, said, “Dock Branch Park is one of the many exciting proposals we have for bringing true regeneration across Wirral’s Left Bank, from Bromborough to New Brighton. This step will open the way for the council to acquire the land and begin work on bringing the park to fruition, while at the same time making sure council tax payers aren’t saddled with the costs of replacing or repairing bridges.

“Dock Branch Park will be one of the centrepieces of the revitalisation of Birkenhead, itself at the heart of hugely ambitious transformational plans for the whole Left Bank area from Bromborough and New Ferry through Birkenhead and Wirral Waters, Seacombe and Liscard to New Brighton.”

The report by the Director of Regeneration and Place is on the council website

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