MCC response to pop-up cycle lanes

Merseyside Cycling Campaign responds to ‘consultation on Liverpool active travel – from temporary to permanent’

‘More, not fewer, bike lanes will create the safe cycling city that Liverpool people want’

In brief

Liverpool City Council opened three major bike lanes during the COVID-19 pandemic, along Vauxhall Road, West Derby Road and Sefton Park. Due to the fast deterioration of these temporary facilities, in November 2022, the council launched a public consultation to help it decide on their future.

The three stated options are to:

  • replace the current temporary measures with new temporary measures
  • remove all of the active travel measures entirely
  • install permanent infrastructure in compliance with the latest guidance (LTN 1/20).

Merseyside Cycling Campaign believes Liverpool City Council has clear support from local people  – and a clear environmental need – to make cycling more easy, enjoyable and safe for everyone.

We are therefore disappointed to see the consultation give any consideration to removing significant parts of the city’s infrastructure for the future.

We know any temporary fixes cost more in the long-term and anything less compromises the future in even clearer terms.

We believe the council must get on with the job it started and make this vital infrastructure on these key routes permanent.

The deadline for you to submit your views is Friday 13 January 2023. Below is further information about the need and demand for bike lanes, as well as more detail on the consultation itself.

We encourage people to attend the public meetings – there are two events about all three routes at Liverpool Central Library – Saturday 26 November (10am-2pm) and Tuesday 29 November (4pm-8pm).

The need and demand for investment in the future

In 2019, our council declared a ‘climate emergency’ and said that everyone must now work together to meet the ‘challenge of an impending ecological disaster by making Liverpool a Net Zero Carbon city by 2030’.

Transport is the second-largest contributor to the city’s carbon emissions and, according to the council’s own transport report, we need people to switch from driving their own cars to walking, cycling and public transport.

Data collected before the pandemic found that most car trips made in the city region – totalling 300 million journeys – were less than three miles. That’s just 15 minutes on a bike.

If 80% of these journeys were walked, wheeled or biked, we’d cut our carbon emissions by 100,000 tonnes – as good as taking 50,000 cars off the road every year – and have a happier and healthier city.

In 2020, the charity Sustrans asked people living in Liverpool about these issues and found that:

  • More than 30% of people cycle at least occasionally – another 30% said they would like to start
  • 74% want the city region to be a safer place to cycle
  • 69% support the building of more infrastructure to improve cycling safety

The details of the consultation

While Merseyside Cycling Campaign’s view of the permanent proposal is generally positive, we encourage the council to use this consultation to improve its plans.

We, and other local cycling advocates, are keen to be involved with such projects as they are being conceived, to ensure they are not just compliant with the minimum standard (LTN 1/20) – but are as good as they possibly can be for our city.

Merseyside Cycling Campaign invites the local councils to work with cycling advocates to produce bold proposals for a more comprehensive cycling network, which is easy, enjoyable and safe to use, for now and in the future.

We will be conducting a further, comprehensive review of the permanent proposals in the coming weeks – which we will share for people to make use of.

In the meantime, we recommend that people who live or work in Liverpool use the public consultation and other channels to support the plan to make the routes permanent and to make it clear that removal is unacceptable.