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News Report Page 7 of 13
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Cars are banned from a major road in the heart of Liverpool City Centre

A "bus gate" will come into force from 7am on Ranelagh Street to improve the flow of public transport for tens of thousands of passengers every day. Liverpool City Council, which declared a Climate Emergency in 2019, is implementing the Experimental Traffic Order in a bid to help reduce congestion and pollution and improve safety along this key corridor, which connects the City's Knowledge Quarter to the waterfront. All traffic except:- buses, Taxis, Private Hire vehicles and bikes; heading Westbound into:- Ranelagh Street and Hanover Street, from Lime Street, will be banned between 7am to midnight, every day of the week. The measure, which was approved in August 2020, will be reviewed after 6 months to assess the impact and establish if further changes are required.

Councillor Liam Robinson, Transport Portfolio Holder for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority said:- "Establishing a bus gate is a really positive move for the City Centre and should help to resolve some of the major issues on Hanover Street with congestion. It will allow bus services quicker access to the City Centre, reaching the places that people want to get to, helping to encourage more people out of their cars and into buses. Additionally, it will make the area safer for pedestrians. It should also be helpful in our long term aims to make use of the devolved powers for bus and making a bus network to benefit the City Region as a whole."

According to a survey of traffic the route has been used as a rat run with a high number of accidents involving pedestrians crossing from Church Street to Bold Street, which has recently been fully pedestrianised to support eateries recovering from the Covid19 lockdowns.

The proposed changes will not affect Eastbound traffic, as Lime Street is being remodelled, between St John's Lane and Skelhorne Street, as part of the ₤47 million Liverpool City Centre Connectivity (LCCC) scheme, which will remove access to traffic. An additional benefit to the change will enable the City Region's Bus Alliance to consider reinstating bus services, such as the 82 service for South Liverpool, and to support the wider LCCC projects, such as the redesign of The Strand.

To facilitate the bus gate on Ranelagh/Hanover Street, the current location of the Blu Badge bay (outside the Lyceum on south side) and Taxi Rank (on North side) are to be swapped to allow blue badge holders to park with the flow of traffic and to ensure ease of access into the main retail area of the City.

Councillor Sharon Connor, Cabinet Member for Highways, said:- "The introduction of this bus gate will be a hugely welcome improvement to how people travel in and around Liverpool City Centre; especially bus users, pedestrians and cyclists. Hanover and Ranelagh Street are currently used as a 'rat run' and that is simply not an acceptable situation especially when we are encouraging people to walk and cycle more and we are committed to improving our air quality as well. The benefits of this measure will be considerable in terms of reducing congestion and improving safety in the heart of our City Centre and consultation with our bus partners and public and private Taxi sectors has been critical to how it has been designed. The bus gate is a key part of a much wider package of projects to improve accessibility in the City Centre, so it should not be looked at in isolation. It has been designed to complement the changes to The Strand and Lime Street, which are long overdue given how the City Centre has transformed over the past 3 decades, and should also knit nicely with our work to improve access and safety, on Bold Street. As this is an experimental order we will continue to monitor the road to see what difference it is making and if any further changes need to be made."

A CCTV system has been installed and to monitor compliance according to the requirements of the Department for Transport (DfT) and Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA). To improve traffic flow and bus punctuality along the route further, the priority at the junction of Hanover Street with Gradwell Street have also been changed to give priority to traffic, along Hanover Street. For more information on the Liverpool City Centre Connectivity Scheme please go to:- Liverpool.Gov.UK/BetterRoads.

Local Butcher Tony Blackhurst is excited about seeing Christmas shoppers back in Town

AN established family butchers is looking forward to seeing Christmas shoppers back in Town, after Southport was placed in new Tier 2 restrictions. Blackhurst Butchers, based inside Southport Market, has been trading throughout the national lockdown over the past few weeks. Now they are looking forward to seeing:- 'non-essential' shops, restaurants, cafes, hairdressers, gyms around them opening their doors again by launching 2 special offers. Blackhursts is offering Buy 2 get 1 Free on 500g packs of Cumbrian Stewing Steak and Beef Mince. Customers should order through the new Blackhursts App with collection at the shop in Southport Market. The offer runs until 5 December 2020 and is for collection only.

Owner Tony Blackhurst said:- "I am looking forward to the national lockdown ending next week! It will definitely be nice to see people out and about again. November has been quite strange, only seeing a couple of cars out in the street. But I have kept very busy, with lots of people coming in. We have been very busy with home deliveries too, with lots of customers ordering through our brand new Blackhurst Butchers App, and our website, which we launched earlier this year. I am looking forward to all the shops in Southport reopening and seeing all the Christmas shoppers in Town again."

While Blackhurst Butchers remains open, building work is continuing to transform Southport Market into a brand new food, drink and events hub. The completed ₤1.4million redevelopment will be unveiled in Spring 2021.It is being led by Sefton Council with ₤900,000 funding through Southport Town Deal and ₤500,000 via the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. Blackhursts has been at the heart of the market for 45 years and is set to play a starring role in its exciting new future.

Tony Blackhurst said:- "I am looking forward to moving into a new unit soon. I will be right at the front of the market, the 1st stall that customers see when they walk in. We are going back to where we used to be based, for over 30 years, so we are going full circle! We are set back a little at the moment so it will be good to look onto daylight again! Things are looking really good at the moment. There is lots of interest in the new units and what it's all going to look like. I am starting to get very excited about it all now. It has been great seeing so many of our customers coming in to see us over the past few weeks, and we're looking forward to seeing town getting busier again when the national lockdown ends next week. It has seemed strange being the only unit open in the Market while the work takes place! For us it continues to be business as usual throughout the refurbishment. We are still trading 6 days a week and will be going right up until 3pm, on Christmas Eve. We get very busy and we do like people to get their orders in early for December and the new year."

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