Controversial Liverpool pop-up cycle lane to be removed

A controversial pop-up cycle lane that has drawn complaints in one part of Liverpool will be removed.

The pop-up cycle lane was created in West Derby last year as part of a new network of lanes aimed at helping people get around the city more easily on bikes, particularly during the pandemic.

A number of routes were put in place, including one stretching from Sefton Park to the city centre.

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But the West Derby lanes were controversial and drew complaints from the start.

Local councillors like Tuebrook's Steve Radford have been campaigning for them to be removed, arguing that they are causing much more congestion.

Cllr Radford said he has only been given a day's notice before the lanes were introduced and said there was no consultation with local people, who have been impacted by them.

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When he assumed office as the new cabinet member for transport and the environment, Cllr Dan Barrington said he would review the current infrastructure following a number of complaints.

He said that while that review is ongoing, the opening up of a sink hole on Prescot Road this weekend has forced him to make a quick decision now.

This means the council will remove the inbound cycle lane that heads toward the city centre.

In a statement, Cllr Barrington said: “I’ve had a number of concerns since the pop-up cycle lane on West Derby Road was first introduced. It was brought in without consultation with local residents, businesses and councillors.

"It has caused major congestion and has disadvantaged bus users along this route.

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“When I became cabinet member for climate change, transport and environment, I ordered a review to take place on the pop-up cycle lane infrastructure, with the aim of finding a way to create cycling provision, while retaining two lanes of traffic. I have always said if that was not possible, then I would remove the cycle lane in both directions.

“That review has not concluded, but with the opening up of the sinkhole on Prescot Road last Friday night, a decision has had to be made now. I have decided that the inbound cycle lane – heading towards the city centre – will be removed.

“We will still look at alternative routes for cycling, but please rest assured, that I will not agree to a cycle lane being reintroduced on West Derby Road that prohibits two lanes of traffic. In particular, I want us to look at Cycle Route 5 which goes through Newsham Park and what improvements could be made there.”

Responding, fellow cabinet member Cllr Harry Doyle said: "Cllr Dan Barrington isn’t saying no to cycle lanes, but he is saying that they need to be properly thought out and that we should not put public transport users at a disadvantage by increasing congestion on West Derby Road."

But cyclist Simeon Scheuber-Rush said: "Disappointing for cyclists.

"This was a great segregated cycle route and made my city centre to Norris Green commutes safe and easy."

The review into the remaining pop-up cycle lanes is ongoing.

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