Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has announced plans to invest £172m in public and sustainable transport to drive inclusive growth across the city region.
The plans outline 18 transport and infrastructure schemes, including new train stations in the Baltic Triangle and Headbolt Lane, along with major investment in the region’s cycling network.
Significant investments at Lime Street station, a remodelling of Birkenhead Central, improved interchange options at Lea Green railway station, and cycle routes from Wirral Waters to Birkenhead are all outlined as part of the £172.5m deal from the Transforming Cities Fund, due to be signed off by the combined authority this week.
Projects to be supported through the Transporting Cities Fund fall into three main themes: improving and expanding the public transport network to meet new areas of demand; improving the appeal of public transport; and improving health and wellbeing.
The projects identified for potential funding, to be delivered over a five-year period, are:
Theme 1: Improving and expanding the public transport network to meet new areas of demand:
- Runcorn Station Quarter: This project will transform the existing space around the existing Runcorn station;
- Eastern City Region Connections: A package of improvements aimed at improving the interchange options for Lea Green station;
- Rolling Stock Technological Enhancements (TCIS): Provision of infrastructure to deliver high capacity/quality wireless connectivity for the new Merseyrail fleet;
- Rolling Stock Technological Enhancements(IPEMU): Development of on board battery technology for the new Merseyrail fleet;
- Headbolt Lane Gateway: This proposal extends Merseyrail through to a new station at Headbolt Lane from Kirkby;
- Access for All: To create an obstacle free, accessible route from train station entrances to the platform;
- St James Station Gateway: New station located in the Baltic Triangle, south of Liverpool Central;
- Liverpool Central Expansion: Liverpool central station expansion study;
- Birkenhead Central Gateway: Remodelling of the station and new road access from Hind Street;
- HS2 Station Commission: Lime Street station is close to passenger capacity. The objective is to develop station capacity to facilitate high speed Northern Powerhouse Rail services;
Theme 2: Improving the appeal of public transport, and particularly bus, against private transport:
- Green Bus Routes: developing a package of improvements;
- Smart Ticketing: Streamlining and enhancing the transport ticketing system to deliver simple multi modal ticketing for customers across the Liverpool city region;
- Demand Responsive Transport Solutions: Accelerating the deployment of demand responsible bus services;
Theme 3: Intervening for health and wellbeing:
- LCR Cycle Network (Phase 1): Phase 1 of developing a network of 600km of commuter cycle routes across the LCR;
- LCR Cycle Network (Phase 2): Phase 2 of developing a network of 600km of commuter cycle routes across the LCR (Wirral & Halton);
- Mersey Ferries replacement: The purchase of two new low carbon ferries and associated infrastructure;
- Connecting Wirral Waters: Multi user route from Wirral Waters to Birkenhead;
The combined authority warned that the £172.5m fund will not be able to cover all 18 schemes, with other funding sources needed to bring forward all of the project.
Steve Rotheram, mayor of the Liverpool city region, said: “This ambitious programme will help to drive economic growth that benefits everyone in our city region by dramatically improving sustainable transport across our city region. By making it easier for people to get around, and access jobs and opportunities, using public transport or by walking and cycling, we will boost prosperity, help our environment, and improve health and wellbeing.”