In eight years, 1118 cyclists and pedestrians have been killed or seriously injured in Liverpool. That’s one cyclist or pedestrian per road kilometre. While some new cycle lanes have been installed, they have not created a coherent network, while the dismantling of the West Derby cycle lane sends the wrong message about who is given priority in road safety planning.
The protest is to commemorate those injured and killed and to demand safer travel.
This is how it works: cycle or walk from across the city towards the Pier Head. Meet friends on the way, become a group, and show that you are cycling or walking for a reason (feel free to decorate your bike or bring a poster). Wear a purple top. Bring bells. All meet at the Pier Head at 12 noon on 25 September.
Show the city that we exist, that we matter and that we want to be able to use the roads and pavements safely, and that there are many who would love to use active travel if only – if only active travel was safe. For us, for our kids, for the climate, for our future.
Hosted by Liverpool Cycling Campaign @CycleLiverpool
Confirmed speakers – Councillor Tom Crone, Dr Kay Inckle, Councillor Jay Roberts and Councillor Kris Brown.
Free Community Cycle Rides – September 2021 Aigburth Community Cycle Club is a community club affiliated to Cycling UK and offering free cycle rides led by local trained volunteers. All rides start at John Mitchel Sports Field, Greenbank Lane, L17 1AG opposite student halls of residence. For more information and to book onto a ride emai: firstname.lastname@example.org phone: 0151 728 7884 or join our group on the Spond bookings app: https://group.spond.com/GSDOY
Bikes available to borrow for free for all rides
5-mile traffic-free rides Sefton park, Otterspool, Festival Gardens Thurs 9 September 6pm-7.30pm Thurs 23 September 10am-11.30am
12-mile rides Thurs 2 September 6pm-8pm Sefton Park to Garston Coastal Reserve Sun 19 September 10.30am-12.30pm Sefton Park to Crosby (return by train)
20-mile rides Saturday 11 September 10am-3pm Sefton Park to Ainsdale (return by train) Saturday 26 September 10am-2pm Sefton Park to Stanley Park via Loop Line
The Regent Road cycle lane was almost completed 18 months ago, with the serious omission of the planned traffic lights on the Bascule Bridge. The narrow width of the bridge meant the cycle lane could not continue across it, and the lights were to allow cyclists to cross the bridge safely. Without the lights, cyclists have to either check the motor traffic and chance the road, or use the rickety wooden pathway. The wooden pathway had fallen into disrepair and become dangerous, so MCC member Paul Rogers complained to Liverpool City Council (LCC) and put in a Freedom of Information request to find out why the route remains unfinished.
In response, LCC explained that the Bascule Bridge is owned and maintained by Peel Ports, and that LCC would raise the walkway issue with them. Some work has now been done on the walkway, but it is still uneven and slippery when wet.
On the issue of the traffic lights, LCC said that the contractor working on the scheme had gone into administration and that a new contractor would be appointed in “the next couple of weeks”. Dates of when the work will be done will be publicised after that appointment.
In a stroke of true genius, Councillor Daniel Barrington had the inbound pop-up cycle lane on West Derby Road removed before waiting for evidence from his own review. The government’s response was to halt funding to Liverpool for other active travel schemes.
To prove that irony is not dead, Councillor Barrington is Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency, Transport and Environment.
Simon O’Brien, Liverpool City Region cycling and walking commissioner, said: “There were over 98,000 cycle journeys on the West Derby Road temporary cycle lane in Liverpool between July 2020 and July 2021. Bus times on the route not affected.”
West Derby Road is one of seven “pop-up” routes that were planned during the pandemic. Only three have been delivered, despite the second tranche of funding being awarded in October 2020.
Sustrans reports that 69% people in the city region support more segregated cycle lanes, even if it means taking space away from cars.
Councillor Barrington made vague suggestions for alternative routes, including using Newsham Park. He may not be aware that women in particular avoid cycling through dark parks at night, but then, his decision was not evidence-based.
The crash map shows road casualties on West Derby Rd in just five years (2015-19).
Pop-up cycle lanes The proposed routes are: Route 4 – East Lancs Road – City Centre Route 5 – East Prescot Road – City Centre Route 6 – (University Route): Gateacre – City Centre Route 7 – Liverpool Loop South: Hale – City Centre
St Helens Borough Council has launched a public consultation to seek views on how more than £1m of funding should be spent to make walking and cycling safer, accessible, and enjoyable for residents. www.sthelens.gov.uk/activetravelfund Closing date 28th March 2021.
Transition Liverpool CIC (Community Interest Company) is part of the Transition Network and strives to bring communities within the Liverpool City Region (LCR) together through green projects. Having recently become a CIC our priority is to help support diverse communities across the LCR to make the necessary changes within their personal and civic lives to tackle the multiple problems of climate breakdown. To do this we will be providing several activities such as: free public educational talks, film shows, workshops and demonstrations on ways to create our own local and family based resources, climate cafes and finally mapping green enterprises within the Mersey region to support the development of an alternative local economy. One of the projects that Transition Liverpool supports is sPark It. The sPark It team have now raised £10,649 on Spacehive with the support of 94 backers. The original event was supposed to take place on a weekend in June – a big street festival where everyone would be welcome to join us in supporting some of Liverpool’s greatest community organisations. Unfortunately with the way the world is right now the team decided that, in the interest of everyone’s safety, we would no longer be planning a street festival. However, the good news is we have come up with a plan! We will still support these organisations with pop-up parklets but instead of them being just on Hope street they will be across the LCR and on a staggered time scale. We hope with all your support this will be possible and it will still be as amazing as we first planned. How do you get involved? Please don’t hesitate to contact Bee via email@example.com Want to keep up to date with sPark It? Sign up to Transition Liverpool’s Newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/cAyFUH More info on Transition Liverpool: www.transitionliverpool.org
Hello pedalling people. It’s about time I put some thoughts on paper for you tireless campaigners in these dystopian times. The role of Active Travel Commissioner couldn’t have been stranger since the outbreak of Covid. Talk about a rollercoaster!!! Where to start? At the beginning of 2020 I went on a field trip with academics from Liverpool Uni to Holland and Belgium. We met some inspirational people from Delft and in particular Ghent. What a job they have done there. The Mayor and council redesigned their whole cityscape and then, in one weekend, placed barriers and camera traps everywhere to make it really difficult to drive through neighbourhoods and nearly impossible to drive through the city centre. They set up a control centre linked up to traffic cameras and helicopter cameras to be ready to try and manage the ensuing chaos as Monday rush hour started. They were prepared for a week long rethink of their plans. On Tuesday they packed up and went home. There was no chaos. The traffic evaporated as people had realised it was easier to walk or cycle to where they wanted to go. Amazing what is possible with the political will and vision. A month later all the traffic evaporated in Liverpool as we entered the first lockdown. The pandemic has been so depressing in so many ways but there have been a few positives. I know that stepping out of our front doors on the first day of the lockdown and hearing only birds will live long in many peoples memories. I was asked by Comms to do a series of short videos encouraging people to walk and cycle round their local areas. I needn’t have bothered. Everyone just did it anyway. You will all remember the scenes. A cyclists dream appeared in the middle of a pandemic nightmare. The government released the Emergency Transport Funding and Liverpool City Council in particular, led by Mayor Anderson, jumped on it. In went the first of six promised ‘pop up’ lanes. Wow this could be it! Are we finally changing direction? Not so fast. As soon as the first routes went in the backlash started. I was even abused on camera while doing an interview for The One Show “get rid off these f**king bike lanes!” The rollercoaster ride continued. Let’s be frank, some of the ‘temporary’ interventions have been rushed and some are no good but some are amazing and worth fighting for. The New Chester Road, Vauxhall Road extension, Halton bus lane, Kingsley Road to Crown Street. All imperfect but still demonstrate what could be done in a more attractive permanent manner in the near future. Even the most noisily objected to, West Derby Road, has registered over 40,000 journeys since it was put in. The point is that what the last year has allowed is the chance to try things differently. Will Bold Street ever have traffic again? Surely Castle Street, in the heart of the city, will remain pedestrianised when we all return to ‘normal’? Invaluable experience and knowhow has also been gained. I know that council members and officers have been on a learning curve as steep as The Big One in Blackpool but they have pressed on regardless. Liverpool, with Councillor Sharon Connor leading the charge, has really held firm and the next tranche of lanes and interventions is still on track to be delivered in the first half of this year. The next few months will be crucial. The Tranche 2 funding is dependent on better consultation with members and stakeholders. My task is to support the politicians and officers in every way I can as they put the case for the plans. Merseyside Cycling Campaign’s help in any guise will be vital. Lobby, cajole, beg, text message, post. Encourage. Who would have thought this time last year that the region would be building over 60 miles of segregated bike lanes in just over a year and in some cases at the expense of motorised traffic space? A bold experiment. A little bit of ‘Ghentification’! The rollercoaster ride goes on.
Liverpool City Council identified two initial cycle routes, forming an arc from Sefton Park to West Derby Road. This list was later expanded to seven routes, shown on the map. In the town centre, they announced Bold Street and Castle Street would be pedestrianised. Despite an initial delay caused by a nationwide demand for plastic bollards, the first two cycle routes were in place by June. On returning to Liverpool in July, I took my first ride along the route. I was impressed by the feeling of safety along West Derby Road, as well as the satisfaction of cruising past a line of cars stuck at the lights. Subsequent improvements have included the ‘floating’ of car parking to protect the lane, and accommodating two lanes for traffic eastbound – whilst keeping the cycle track. However a more fundamental issue of providing no safe route to the city centre remains, which must be holding back ridership. The construction of the third route in Liverpool started in September between the city centre and Bootle. Starting from Hatton Garden, the route runs along Vauxhall Road, Commercial Road and Stanley road as far as the border with Sefton Council. A later extension down Dale Street to the crossing of Byrom Street created a 2.4-mile route of new and upgraded cycle tracks. Together with the Regent/Dock road cycle track, the cycle network in north Liverpool is starting to emerge. As the hot summer of 2020 moved into the autumn, councils across the country began removing pop-up cycle infrastructure, notably the hugely popular Sunrise Cycleway along the coast near Newcastle-upon-Tyne. However, Liverpool has remained supportive of cycling throughout, retaining and improving its pop-up infrastructure – not giving in to a small but vocal opposition. The transformation of Bold Street and Castle Street looks likely to stay permanent after being widely praised. For many reasons 2020 was a year to forget, however for cycling it will go down in history as a year of great progress. Nationwide bike shops ran out of stock due to huge demand for new bicycles, with levels of cycling increasing by over 200% during the first lockdown. In Liverpool, thousands of journeys have been made on the pop-up cycle lanes, even if we do not have the 100km network promised originally, three routes are a good start. Other milestones in Liverpool last year were the completion of the Princes Avenue cycleway, the start of roadworks on The Strand and Lime Street (which include excellent cycle provision), and the rolling out of electric city hire bikes. With all this good news, 2021 will surely be another great year for walking and cycling in Liverpool.