A significant overhaul of Liverpool city centre bus routes have been proposed which are set to come into force next January – but bus passengers will get a chance to give their views on the proposals until later this summer.
It is expected that around 11,000 bus passengers a day will be affected by the move, which is happening in tandem with Liverpool City Council’s £45m City Centre Connectivity Scheme (LCCCS). The plans include a bus hub for Old Haymarket which has met with strong opposition from local councillors and businesses with one councillor calling it “madness”, and it could see passengers forced to walk further distances to get to their daily destinations.
The LCCCS also includes lane reductions on The Strand and Victoria Street, the closure of Mann Island and Lime Street to through traffic.
In total, 31 of the 67 bus routes into the city centre will see their routes altered with the plan being to reduce the number of buses moving through the city centre, easing congestion, tackling pollution and making moving around the city more accessible for cyclists and pedestrians.
As part of the proposals, bus boarding and alighting points will be generally be focused in or around Queen Square and Liverpool One bus stations. Creating a north-south divide. However, for those who need it, a regular and free cross-city bus service has been proposed to run between both bus stations.
Cllr Liam Robinson, chair of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said: “Merseytravel and bus operators are supporting Liverpool City Council in its vision for a transformed, cleaner, greener city centre. To achieve this there has to be changes to how traffic moves around, including buses.
“Some people will be able to get on and off where they do now, others may be closer to their end destination and some may need to walk a bit further, and that’s why there will be cross-city bus provision between the two bus stations for those who need it.
“We encourage people to look at the re-routing proposals so they can be prepared for what it means for them from January 2020. We do welcome people’s comments, but we have to be clear that we will be limited in any changes we can make because of the changing layout of the city centre.”
The most significant changes will be for passengers travelling into the city centre from other parts of Liverpool. Passengers from St Helens, Knowsley and Halton will be affected to lesser extents, and services from Sefton and Wirral are currently unaffected by the proposals.
Information on proposed service changes, including simple maps for each route affected, can be found at merseytravel.gov.uk/citycentrebus. People will have the opportunity to comment via the website or discuss the changes at various drop-in sessions until Friday 2nd August 2019. Further details, along with dates and times, are available online.