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Issue:- 25 November 2010

Castle Street changes as part of improvement works

CASTLE Street will be partly 1-way to traffic from Monday, 22 November as part of a £2.9 million improvement scheme.  The change – affecting traffic travelling southbound from Dale Street to Cook Street - is permanent, and traffic will still be able to travel in both directions from Cook Street to James Street.

The scheme will upgrade the highway and public areas along Castle Street which will improve the pedestrian links between the Commercial and Retail districts, as well as help to attract private sector investment in the area. Consultation on the proposals including these traffic measures took place in September 2009 and in Summer 2010.

The project is funded by the Northwest Development Agency, Liverpool City Council and Merseytravel and the scheme will be completed in August 2011, before the Mathew Street Festival.  The completed scheme will offer residents, businesses and visitors a more attractive, user-friendly street with a sympathetic renovation which takes into account Castle Street’s position in the Conservation Area and within the World Heritage Site.

This is part of the City Centre Movement Strategy which aims to balance the needs of all road users, motorists, pedestrians, public transport and cyclists. The scope of works includes:-

► Extensive widening of the footpaths and narrowing of the road between the Town Hall and Cook Street;

► Repaving of the whole street in natural York stone and granite materials which complement the high quality of architecture in the Commercial District;

► Repaving the streets around Liverpool Town Hall to improve its setting and linking it to the other Commercial District schemes in Dale Street and Old Hall Street;

► Promoting a safer environment with new wall-mounted street lighting and creating a one-way flow southbound from Dale Street to Cook Street, and creating bays for servicing of shops and businesses;

► Creating a new bus interchange, with layover spaces, in Cook Street, with new accessible bus stops, seating and information;

► All pay and display parking which is currently in Castle Street and Cook Street, will be moved with none lost, principally into nearby Brunswick Street, Dale Street, North John Street and Victoria Street;

► Providing new seating, trees, bins and cycle facilities and removing street clutter to improve the ambience and environment of the street.

The work on Cook Street has progressed ahead of programme with several local businesses praising North Midland Construction for their concentrated efforts to reduce disruption.  The bus stops from Castle Street will move into Cook Street on Tuesday 23 November.

Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport, said:- “We are very pleased to be regenerating another of our city’s key streets and the City Council has worked closely with Liverpool Vision to ensure the changes will help to attract more investment and business into the area.  We apologise in advance for any disruption these improvement works may cause.”

Nick Kavanagh, Director for Regeneration, said:- “These traffic changes reflect monitoring of the current use of Castle Street where few vehicles travel from Cook Street to Dale Street. The proposals will allow for a fairer sharing of the street space between the low vehicle flows and high levels of pedestrian use.  I’m delighted this important city centre street is being brought up to 21st century standards. I hope it will increase the number of people moving between the commercial and retail districts.”

Local businesses have praised the project team for the way it has carried out the work so far. Paul Moran, Managing Director at Mason Owen. He said:- “We occupy offices in Union Court, just off Cook Street so we were concerned about the level of disruption that may have been inflicted on us.  I would like to pass on our thanks for the manner in which the works have been carried out, and the efforts made to minimise disruption to our business. In our view, the job was carried out in an exemplary manner.”

Olwen McLaughlin, Director at Editions Limited, said:- “We are very pleased with the way the improvement works went here on Cook Street. The work outside our building was finished quickly and the entrance left accessible and clean for our customers and tenants alike.  Let's hope that the council now finishes the corners and traffic light areas as quickly!”

For more details on this and other city council highway schemes, visit:-


Seeds of new school to be sown

PLANS for a brand new primary school integral to the regeneration of north Liverpool are set to be approved.   The council’s Cabinet is being asked to give the green light to the new £8.8 million Four Oaks Primary School in Everton.

The school, which has 258 pupils, was created earlier this year from the federation of Hope Valley and Breckfield Primary Schools.  It is currently based in the former Hope Valley building on Walton Breck Road. The building dates from Victorian times and is not suited to modern teaching methods.  Under the proposals, a new 2 form entry state of the art primary school with a 26 place nursery will be created on a new site at the former Adam Street playground.

Council leader Joe Anderson, said:- “This new school will be located in the heart of the Anfield/Breckfield regeneration area and is a key part of our plan to breathe new life into the area.  It is great news for the ongoing improvements we are making to the area, and means that as more people move into the area there will be a top quality primary school for children to attend.”

The 2 storey building has been designed around 2 large courtyards and the main hall, and will also include 2 areas which can be used by local residents and community groups.  Outside there will be a covered play area which can be used in all weathers, and the first floor will have access to an internal “playdeck” with large roof lights to let in large amounts of natural light and sunshine.  It will also become the new headquarters for the city’s three existing centres for specialist speech and language.

The report is also recommending that £350,000 is spent creating much needed new accommodation to replace mobile classrooms at St Vincent De Paul Catholic Primary School near the city centre. The work is in addition to nearly £600,000 of work already carried out including the creation of new nursery and reception classrooms as well as a new kitchen.

Cabinet member for education, Councillor Jane Corbett, said:- “These schemes will make a major difference to education in two of the most needy areas of the city.  At Four Oaks the new building will provide top quality education for local youngsters, and will be a facility which will be available for use by the entire community.  St Vincent De Paul has been in dire need of improvement work, so I am pleased that we have been able to find additional money which will mean ultimately that children won’t have to be taught in prefabricated buildings any more.”

Funding for both schemes has mainly come from the Primary Capital programme.

Headteacher at Four Oaks, Sara Howard, said:- “I am delighted that we are soon to have a brand new state-of-the-art school and I know that children and their families along with staff and governors can’t wait for it to be completed.  It will really enhance the learning and enjoyment of our pupils, and the whole school community is really excited about it.  We only came together as one school at Easter, but already the children have bonded together really well. Many have said they would never have met many of their new best friends if Hope Valley and Breckfield hadn’t federated.”

If approved, work will start in January 2011 and the new school is expected to open to pupils in April 2012.  The report will be considered by the Cabinet on Friday, 26 November 2010.

Students see hidden science at heart of medicine

THE autopsy scene is now a staple of TV crime dramas with the green-gowned pathologist crucial to helping solve the mystery.  But 45 6th form science students discovered pathology like this is only one small part of the medical specialty, during their visit to Southport and Formby District Hospital as part of National Pathology Week.

“Those of us who do autopsies make up just less than half of all pathologists,” said Consultant Pathologist Dr Martin Shaw. “There are even fewer forensic pathologists – the ones we see in TV crime drama – and they make up less than 1% of the profession.  “This is the second time we’ve opened up our labs to show the range of the work we do, as well opening students’ minds to the breadth of potential careers to be had in pathology.”

Staff from across the hospital trust were involved in demonstrating this hidden science at the heart of medicine. They conduct more than six million tests a year to help diagnose patients and guide treatment at Southport and Ormskirk hospitals alone.

The students visiting the hospital were from Southport’s King George V College and Christ the King School, Formby High School and Range High School, Formby, and Ormskirk High School.  They were shown a practical demonstration of how disease is identified in human tissues; the work of the hospital mortuary; and the science behind infection control. They also had the chance to conduct their own biochemistry experiments.

Andrew Ye, from Range High School, said:- “I am interested in a career in medicine and it was really interesting, especially getting the chance to see human tissue.”

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