Work on a 600km walking and cycling network in Liverpool begins
Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority have approved the £8.3 million funding for the first 55km phase of the network.
Work is set to begin on the first phase of a potential 600km key network of cycling and walking routes across the Liverpool City Region.
The proposed network is based on upgrades to 31 key routes across the Liverpool City Region over the next 10 years.
The network will be planned on a whole city region basis, both improving links to the public transport network and between residential areas, employment, training and retail sites.
Meanwhile, work is already underway on bidding for funding for the next phase of the network with the launch of a questionnaire on people’s cycling and walking habits to help shape what a wider network would look like.
Two thirds of all journeys in the city region are less than five kilometres but half of those are made by car. Through the Local Journeys Strategy, Steve Rotheram and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority recognise that getting the infrastructure right is key to encouraging people out of their cars, particularly for shorter journeys.
The cycling and walking network is one of the first actions of the Local Journeys Strategy. Making places walking and cycling-friendly not only reduces congestion, improves air quality and brings significant health benefits, it also has wider economic benefits – boosting inward investment and attracting new talent.
Steve Rotheram, said: “We are at a pivotal stage in transforming provision for cycling and walking. Getting the infrastructure right to make it a real choice for more people means less congestion, cleaner air and better health.
“There are also wider benefits to the economy. Safe, pleasant cycling and walking areas, linking well to public transport and key locations, help create those places where people want to live, work and invest. And if you are walking or cycling, you are not sitting in traffic clocking up lost working hours – something that benefits employees and employers.
“We want people across the city region to work with us to develop ideas to get more people cycling and walking more, so the network we develop is built for them. We can’t transform the situation overnight, but devolution gives us the power to strategically plan how to improve facilities for walking and cycling across the city region, putting our investment in the right places so we can make a difference.”
This first 55km phase of the network is expected to be completed by the end of 2020, with each local authority responsible for the works in their area.
In addition, the funding will support a new pilot project by Liverpool John Moores University, trialling innovative methods of collecting cycle and walking trip data and the development of a cycling app and journey planner.