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News Report Page 3 of 15
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Highways Scheme fit for a Princes!

Bike it! : Simon O'Brien and Cllr Sharon Connor welcome the starts of a new ₤4m scheme to improve cycling in South Liverpool.

WORK has begun to transform a historic boulevard in the Toxteth area of Liverpool that will boast a cycling 1st for the City. Contractors for Liverpool City Council are now on site at Princes Avenue and Road to embark on a ₤4m scheme featuring a unique cycle path along the central reservation. NMCN (formerly North Midland Construction) are to install the 1km long cycle path within the central reservation; a 1st for Liverpool. The 6 month long scheme is set to be completed in the summer of 2020. The scheme's aim is to improve pedestrian and cycle connectivity between South Liverpool and the City Centre, with the plan to install a new Citybike Station along the route.

The works comes as the City Council this week announced that work on another new cycle lane is to begin next May, on Lime Street, with another on Regent Road, along the North docks, to complete in Spring.

The City Council, which recently declared a climate emergency and is developing a Clean Air plan, is holding a series of creative engagement events with the local community on the design elements around the new open spaces, with more to be held in mid-January 2020.

The new cycle path would also form an extension of a new:- 'green corridor' to Otterspool that is due to be delivered in the next 12 months. The URBAN Green UP project has ₤3.4m of EU funding to install and test 3 'green corridors' across the City, which was a key recommendation in the City Council's Strategic Green and Open Spaces Review.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:- "I want to deliver a walking and cycling revolution across the Liverpool City Region. Over the next decade, we're building a 600km network of new and upgraded walking and cycling routes to help make cycling a genuine option for getting around our Region. Our planet faces a climate emergency. Projects like this, which help take cars off the road and encourage people to take more journeys by bike, are a key part of the tackling climate change."

The innovative scheme, which falls between Upper Parliament Street and Princes Park Gate, also aims to stimulate the wider regeneration of an area that was created in Liverpool's Victorian maritime hey-day.

The wide, tree-lined boulevard styled avenue leading up to Princes Park was built for the City's merchant class and boasts grand houses as well as a stunning range of religious architecture, including the Grade I listed Gothic/Moorish revival masterpiece that is the Princes Road Jewish Synagogue.

Simon O'Brien, Cycling Commissioner for Liverpool City Region, said:- "Princes Avenue is the next step developing a right Royal cycling and walking network. It has the potential to be the link between the whole of the South of the City and the City Centre for both pleasure and commuting. Definitely down the right Avenue!"

As part of the proposals to regenerate the existing 18.5m wide central reserve, improvements to the area will include:-

New and improved pedestrian and cycle paths linking into the wider neighbourhood.

► New and improved toucan crossings

► Planting of a number of new trees and new landscaped areas

► New carriageway surface and drainage improvements.

► Localised footway improvements.

► New seating and lighting.

► Restoration of existing artwork and monuments.

► New public artwork to celebrate the history and people of Toxteth and Liverpool

Councillor Sharon Connor, Liverpool City Council's Cabinet member for highways, said:- "The Princes Avenue/Road scheme is a fantastic example of how our Better Roads programme is breathing new life into Liverpool's communities. The feedback from the local community has been fantastic which will help give this scheme will have a real wow factor. It's going to revive the most beautiful boulevard in the City and transform how the wider Toxteth community interact and use this re-imagined space. The new cycle path within the central reservation will also provide a unique experience for cyclists travelling to and from South of the City and is another example of how we are actively working to reduce the City's carbon footprint, improve our air quality and encourage healthier lifestyles."

This scheme is part of Liverpool City Region's Sustainable Transport Enhancement Package (STEP) and the City Council was successful in being awarded ₤1.925m from the STEP programme. The remainder of the funding will be provided through the Council's ₤500m Better Roads programme. The STEP programme is part of the Local Growth Fund (LGF). Local Growth Funding is awarded to the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and invested through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority through its Strategic Investment Fund. Social value benchmarks and targets are also included in the contract committing NMCN to providing work and training opportunities to the Liverpool labour market.

Liverpool residents urged to 'go local' for Taxi safety this Christmas

"ASK for a Liverpool driver…" That's the big message from licensing chiefs with Liverpool City Council this Christmas as they urge Taxi travellers to put safety 1st and keep it local.  At 1 of the busiest times of the year for Taxi and Private Hire journeys across the City, the Council is reminding revellers that they have the right to ask for a Liverpool driver when they book a journey. Liverpool City Council's licensing regulations are among the most rigorous in the country. Prospective Taxi and Private Hire drivers who apply for a licence are expected to undertake a high level of extra safety training as well as pass a local:- 'knowledge test' to ensure they know their way around the City. With its busy night scene, premiership football and a packed calendar of cultural events, Liverpool attracts an army of Taxi and Private Hire drivers from other areas of Merseyside, the North West and other parts of the country, all looking for fares. The Licensing Team reports that drivers who are licensed with Local Authorities as far away as Wolverhampton regularly turn up in the City looking for work.

Chair of Liverpool City Council's Licensing Committee, Cllr Christine Banks said:- "Since the deregulation of the Taxi and Private Hire industry, drivers have been able to get a licence in 1 area of the country but work in another. This can mean that the City Council cannot fully hold these drivers to account The public's safety is at the heart of everything we do and we are confident that the City has some of the most comprehensive Taxi and Private Hire regulations you can find anywhere. Residents who ask for a Liverpool Licensed Driver can rest assured that they are among the best trained anywhere. So for safety's sake this Christmas, ask for a Liverpool driver."

Team members regularly patrol the City Centre to ensure all Taxi and Private Hire drivers are playing by the rules. They also take part in proactive undercover campaigns to crack down on offences such as plying for hire, where a Private Hire driver will accept a fare which has not been booked in advance. There are more than 4,000 Hackney and Private Hire drivers registered with Liverpool City Council. At peak times, such as match days, thousands of drivers who are licensed with other Local Authorities descend on the City. Customers are within their rights to request a driver who is licensed with Liverpool City Council when they make their booking. By asking for a Liverpool driver, the passenger can be assured they will get someone who has passed a local knowledge test, completed safeguarding training, undergone a strict vetting process and drives a vehicle that has been checked by the City Council's mechanic.

Liverpool drivers will have also had extra training in how to carry wheelchair users and guide dogs. Tommy McIntyre, from Unite the Union Taxi Education, added:- "We have a large number of Licensed Drivers and vehicles in Liverpool. Any person travelling in a vehicle licensed by Liverpool City Council can be reassured that the Licensed Drivers have undertaken training of high standard. They are all fully DBS checked and all our vehicles have regular compliance checks to ensure the vehicles are safe. By asking for a Liverpool Licensed Driver and vehicle you are asking for a quality, professional and fully trained driver. We work closely with Licensing to ensure the training is of a high standard and that drivers are carrying members of the public around safely and legal. This safety has now been increased with the introduction of the drugs policy that we and all our members fully support."

To add to the list of safety measures, the City Council has recently introduced a regime of mandatory drug tests for Liverpool drivers to ensure that all those who carry passengers are fit to be behind the wheel.

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