Merseytravel, city council, police and bus companies join forces to keep city moving this Christmas
• Successful initiative which helps manage congestion in Liverpool city centre returns
• Scheme will see organisations and operators share data and resources
• Measures will include monitoring traffic flow, enhanced management of buses and a crackdown on illegal parking
Merseytravel, Liverpool City Council, Merseyside Police and bus operators Arriva and Stagecoach will once again be working together to help reduce traffic congestion during the upcoming festive period.
The joint traffic management scheme, which will run from Friday 26 November until Friday 24 December, has now operated for almost ten years. The initiative has proven successful in keeping people and vehicles moving through the city centre during the very busy time leading up to Christmas.
The initiative helps support Liverpool’s retail and hospitality businesses during this vital period by reducing illegal parking and monitoring traffic flow to prevent gridlock and make sure that bus services remain as punctual as possible.
Each organisation and operator will share information and resources meaning they can respond more quickly to issues and more effectively manage movement through the city centre, particularly on important routes like Hanover Street and transport hubs like Liverpool ONE bus station.
Illegal parking, which causes traffic congestion at busy times, will be addressed through parking enforcement in ‘hot spot’ areas. Bus operators and highways staff will also report illegal parking that they see causing a problem and PCSO and Merseyside police officers will stop taxis and private vehicles from dropping off in bus stops and road junctions, and from blocking yellow box junction markings in the city centre.
The launch of the initiative also coincides with temporary traffic measures limiting the use of Lime Street to taxis, buses and cycles only from 24 November, to ease movements around the current roadworks in the city centre.
Key advice to people visiting Liverpool City Centre: use public transport wherever possible and avoid travelling at peak times if you can
Cllr Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Portfolio Holder said:
“After the difficult time we faced last year, it’s great to see the city centre so vibrant and busy as we gear up to Christmas, but with that can come congestion and frustration.
“By working together and sharing resources we’re being innovative in how we approach the issue, helping commuters and shoppers to get around as easily as possible and also addressing the resulting air pollution that congestion can cause.
“We encourage people to play their part too by sticking to public transport wherever possible and avoiding travelling at peak times if they can.”
Traffic Management Constable Andy Astle, Merseyside Police:
“After the year we have all experienced, it is more important than ever that we come together and have a safe and joyful Christmas and New Year. And this initiative with all partners working together to keep our roads safe and obstruction-free aims to do just that.
“Throughout the festive period our Roads Policing Officers will be key locations to ensure traffic flow around the city centre runs smoothly, and vehicles do not cause unnecessary hazards to other cars and pedestrians.”
Howard Farrall, Managing Director of Arriva Merseyside:
“We know how much of a negative impact congestion can have on our roads & to our journeys, particularly at such a busy time a year as Christmas. Therefore, Arriva is once again committed to working with closely with fellow public transport operators and the Police, to help reduce and tackle issues surrounding road congestion”
Alex Crane Operations Director at Stagecoach Merseyside said:
“We’re pleased to be working collaboratively to tackle congestion over the festive period by adopting a strategic and innovative approach which will ensure knowledge and resources are being shared between our partners to improve traffic flow, reduce pollution and ultimately make the run up to Christmas a happier, and less stressful experience.”