How will bus changes impact city centre businesses?

Fri, June 21st, 2019

The Chamber is seeking the views of members to understand the implications of...

The Chamber is seeking the views of members to understand the implications of proposed changes to city centre transport movement in January 2020 amidst concerns that staff journeys by bus to workplaces in the business district during peak times will be disrupted and inconvenienced.

On Tuesday, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority delivered a briefing about the changes to city centre connectivity under the City Council’s ‘Better Roads’ scheme of work. The briefing included stakeholders and bus operators including Arriva and Stagecoach and the audience was informed about substantial changes to the operation of the bus network into and around the city centre.

At the briefing, the issue of connectivity challenges for employees, customers and visitors to the Central Business District and specifically those working in the Northern part of the business district whose nearest direct connection, currently on Dale Street, could potentially be more than half a mile away (0.8 miles from St Pauls’ Square to either bus hub at Queens Square or Liverpool ONE bus station). The changes will affect 11,000 people every day.

A consultation process is underway which will help inform the plans to implement the city centre connectivity scheme. The Chamber will submit a consultation response reflecting its concerns and those of its members in the coming weeks. The consultation response can be completed by individual businesses and passengers at: https://www.merseytravel.gov.uk/travel-updates/Pages/city-centre-bus.aspx

The dependency upon an efficient and convenient bus network within close walking distance to the commercial district north of Dale Street is important to ensure the attractiveness and connectivity of employees to their places of work.

The attractiveness of bus as a carrier of large numbers of people is the point to point connections they can achieve. The proposals within the current draft of the connectivity scheme risks isolating the city’s business district from bus connections even with a proposed shuttle running every six minutes – peak time demand for services to the Northern Dale street area will exceed supply.

There is an appreciation that improving air quality and public realm is a welcome and worthy aspiration but it must be delivered with due consideration and flexibility to continue to provide high quality access and convenience to employees using all methods of transport into the business district of town.

Businesses with specific concerns are invited to contact the Chamber to help inform the consultation response. Contact policy@liverpoolchamber.org.uk with your views.

(Image courtesy of Liverpool City Council)

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