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Liverpool launches consultation on next phase of pop up cycling

LIVERPOOL City Council has launched a month long consultation on the 2nd phase of its ambitious pop up cycling network. The City is aiming to create a 65 mile cycling network to encourage people onto their bikes and to allow them to cycle safely to work, shops, School or College. The City Council's Cabinet approved a ₤4m fund to create the segregated pop up cycle lanes last June as a response to the Covid19 impact on people's travel plans; and has designed the routes to also connect people to the City's permanent cycle network. 3 routes were introduced last summer; in the East on West Derby Road, South, within the vicinity of Sefton Park and on the North Liverpool Loop line to Bootle, and the public consultation is inviting comments on a further four new routes across the City.

The proposed routes are:-

►  Route 4 - East Lancs Road - Townsend Lane - Breck Road - City Centre.

►  Route 5 - East Prescot Road - University Hospital - London Road - City Centre.

►  Route 6 - (University Route):- Gateacre - Woolton Road - Wavertree - Lawrence Road - Crown Street - Myrtle Street - City Centre.

►  Route 7 - Liverpool Loop South: Hale - Speke Boulevard - Garston Village - Aigburth Road - City Centre.

The public are invited to go online to see the proposals and provide their feedback at:- Liverpool.Gov.UK.  Comments will be accepted until 5pm, on Wednesday, 24 March 2021, and questions can be sent via email to:- CyclingWalking@liverpool.Gov.UK. The results of the survey will be shared with elected members and the public and fed back to the Department for Transport. The City Council will also use the feedback to shape how it improves access to cycling routes in Liverpool over the coming months and years.

Surveys carried out in Liverpool indicate that many local people support the introduction of cycle lanes:-

►  69% of residents support building more cycle tracks separated from traffic, even if it means taking space away from cars.

►  60% of people indicate they would support making temporary measures permanent in the City.

These improvements will also offer people who rely on public transport an alternative means of travel and help:-

►  46% of people in the City identified in the 2011 Census with no access to a vehicle.

►  People enjoy the health benefits of cycling, better air quality, reduced congestion, increased safety and fewer road casualties.

Funding for the pop up cycle lanes is to be sourced from the Council's highways investment programme, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and bids to the Active Travel Fund established by the Department of Transport. In addition to the pop up lanes, the City Council, which declared a Climate Emergency in 2019, is also currently overseeing a ₤47m upgrade to City Centre connectivity and is introducing 7 miles of new permanent cycle lanes. It is also exploring an expansion of the City's 20mph areas to further improve safety and air pollution.

Councillor Sharon Connor, Liverpool City Council's Cabinet Member for Highways, said:- "We want real change in how people travel around Liverpool; for their personal benefit and for Liverpool, as a City to enjoy exploring. The pop up lanes are a temporary solution, but we are also looking at investing in the permanent cycling network because it is an enjoyable and affordable way to travel; and a great way to improve your body, your mind and the environment. Thanks to public feedback a lot of work has gone on to improve the 1st 3 routes since they were launched which has helped inform our thinking for the next four proposed routes. I hope as many people as possible take part in this consultation so we can continue to improve cycling access and promote safer and healthier ways to travel in Liverpool."

Simon O'Brien, Liverpool's Cycling Commissioner, added:- "The ongoing Covid Pandemic means we must reassess our future travel plans to help those vulnerable people already affected by high levels of air pollution and poor health due to inactivity, as well as those understandably nervous about using public transport. On top of all that we are engaged in a Climate Emergency. These temporary lanes are a real start to combating all these difficult issues are City is facing. Liverpool City Council is leading from the front in the fight to improve the lives of the people of our Region. Keep riding, get riding, to help make our City a better place to live. And take part in this consultation to help make that all happen."

Dazzling new lights along Lord Street in Southport would stretch across the Channel

SO many new lights are being installed along the historic Lord Street boulevard in Southport that if they were laid out end to end, they would stretch almost all the way from the UK to France across The Channel. The ambitious scheme by Southport Business Improvement District (Southport BID) is designed to create a dazzling look to 1 of the UK's most famous streets for shopping and dining. Work is on course to be completed soon with 73 out of 80 trees along 2 sides of the mile long boulevard now wrapped with sparkling LED lights. A total of 300 sets of lights are being used which include 300,000 individual bulbs.

Southport BID CEO Rachel Fitzgerald said:- "We have enjoyed some superb feedback from local businesses and local people about our initiative to light up Lord Street. Lord Street is one of the most famous shopping and dining streets in the UK. With people now looking forward to more businesses reopening as lockdown restrictions ease, we were determined to create a beautiful environment to attract visitors into Southport and customers into local businesses. The scheme has been made possible thanks to funding by Southport BID along with match funding through a Southport Town Deal Acceleration Grant. As soon as the funds became available we ensured that work started as soon as possible. The response from people as the new lights have been installed has been fantastic. They love the bright new lighting along Lord Street. As people return to using:- local shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, hotels and other businesses in Southport Town Centre, we hope they will enjoy the beautiful ambience that this new lighting creates."

Work to create the new 'boulevard of light' is being carried out by Southport firm Illumidex UK Ltd. A team of four people, led by Illumidex owners Steve and Jan Clayton, have been working hard between 6pm and 11pm Sunday to Friday over a long winter. Steve said:- "The response has been unbelievable. Some people have been pulling over in their cars to say what a great job we're doing. Some have been coming out each night to see how we've been getting on. When the Covid19 restrictions are lifted and people start coming back into the Town Centre, it is going to look sensational. If you laid out all the lights we have used, they would reach 22 miles; that's only about 3 miles short of the narroWest point of The Channel! Or, they would stretch from Southport to Liverpool and ˝ way back again. We began this project at the end of November, and started installing the 1st lights, on 17 January 2021. We have worked fast, which has been helped by Southport being very quiet due to the Covid19 National Lockdown. I don't know of anywhere else in the UK which is going to have a one mile shopping street like this containing 20 miles of lights with 300,000 bulbs wrapped around 80 trees. It looks stunning."

Southport MP Damien Moore said:- "The lights along Lord Street look amazing! I am looking forward to seeing this project being completed. This Government funding through the Southport Town Deal is an opportunity to present a vision not only of what we want for Southport now, but where we want to be in the future."

Sefton Council's Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, Cllr Marion Atkinson, said:- "The lights that have been installed so far look amazing, and I'm so excited for more people to see our spectacular boulevard once lockdown restrictions are lifted and the installation work is complete. Sefton Council secured ₤100,000 of funding towards this project from the Town Deal Acceleration fund, and whilst we wait with baited breath to hear what our final allocation of funding will be for Southport, projects such as this prove what can be achieved when partners such as the BID, local businesses, the Council and residents work together."

Southport BID has recently launched the new Southport Gift Card as a way of encouraging people to support local businesses. For more details please visit:- SouthportBID.Com/Southport-Gift-Card.

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