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Revamp of ‘Magical’ Active Travel Corridor Completed!

The completion of the first major upgrade to one of Liverpool’s key active travel corridors has been hailed as “a game-changer” for the city’s population.

The historic Liverpool Loop Line, laid out on a former disused railway that closed in 1964, was originally finished in 2000 after a 12-year reclamation programme. But many of its access points proved to be a barrier.

Now Liverpool City Council, together with its partner Sustrans, has completed the six-month long task of updating 15 entrances along the 11 mile traffic-free route to improve accessibility for all users.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to benefit from the upgrade, especially those with wheelchairs, prams, mobility scooters and adapted cycles as well as horse riders.

The final section of the fully revamped route welcomed its maiden passengers this morning, including Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet member for Transport and Connectivity, Cllr Dan Barrington and Liverpool City Region’s Active Travel commissioner, Simon O’Brien.

The £500,000 scheme, which is a key element of Liverpool’s Active Travel programme, was part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Liverpool City Region (LCRCA) Transforming Cities Fund and the Department for Transport through Sustrans’ England-wide programme to create Paths for Everyone.

The hidden corridor winds through the suburban heartlands of the city, from Halewood in the south, to Aintree in the north, with more than half a million people living within 20 minutes of the trail.

The route is also on the National Cycle Network and forms part of the award-winning Trans Pennine Trail, with connections at Aintree taking people through to Southport.

The upgrades, which meet the latest inclusive design principles, included:

  • Removing old access barriers
  • Relocating other barriers, such as street lighting columns and litter bins
  • Introducing new bollards
  • Improving access for maintenance vehicles
  • Restoring dropped kerbs
  • Resurfacing paths and footways
  • Fencing improvements
  • Widening access paths

Some trees were removed along the route as part of the pre-works programme as roots were eroding the geologically important sandstone along the path, and causing a hazard through falling stones.

Two local contractors worked on the scheme, Dowhigh Ltd and Huyton Asphalt, as well as Colas Ltd, who are all delivering a number of road schemes under the Council’s Highways Investment Programme.

The scheme forms part of Liverpool’s ambitious active travel programme, which includes the installation of seven safer cycle routes across the city, as well as a new learn to ride facility for children which opened in Everton Park last month.

For further information on the Trans Pennine Trail please visit

Councillor Dan Barrington, Cabinet Member for Transport and Connectivity, said:

“The Liverpool Loop Line is like a magical corridor. It’s in the city, but it makes you feel like you’re in the country. It’s a fantastic part of our active travel infrastructure and is arguably one of the best kept cycling secrets in Britain.

“Unfortunately, the Loop Line was not accessible to everyone and I’m delighted we’ve addressed that through this investment, removing the old barriers and making the access points much more inclusive and safer for people of all abilities.

“It’s completion is going to be a game-changer for our residents and for visitors, giving them a free and healthy experience full of wonder and discovery that few other cities can match.”

Rosslyn Colderley, Director Sustrans in the North of England, said:

“The Liverpool Loop Line has always been a valued green space and transport corridor for people walking and cycling. This work really helps to open up the path to many more people using mobility scooters, wheelchairs, buggies or larger bikes. That helps more people get access to nature, exercise, and independent, sustainable travel around the city.

“There is still a lot more to be done to make the route accessible and we’re working closely with our partners at Liverpool City Council and the Trans Pennine Trail to fund the next stage of the project.

“It’s part of our national programme across the UK, funded by the Department for Transport to improve the National Cycle Network, so that everyone, no matter what their age or ability, will be able to access them.”

Councillor John Wilson (Barnsley), Chair of the Trans Pennine Trail Partnership, said:

“The work undertaken by our partners at Liverpool City Council and Sustrans will make such a difference to those using the Trail in Liverpool. Hearing that 15 access controls have been removed is fantastic. Yes, there is always more we can do as a partnership but to know that we have this level of commitment within our partnership will resonate throughout. This, along with the surface improvements, will make the Liverpool Loop Line section of the Trail much more enjoyable and accessible for all.”

Sean Tierney, Merseyside Coordinator at Wheels For All, said:

“It’s fantastic to see the work that Liverpool City Council and Sustrans are doing to make the Loop Line more accessible. At Wheels For All we strive to offer inclusive cycling provision all across the country, so we see first-hand the profound impact that access to active travel has on people’s wellbeing. This recent round of improvements will allow more people than ever before to access the Liverpool Loop Line, and that’s something that we should truly celebrate.”

Simon O’Brien, Liverpool City Region’s Active Travel Commissioner, said:

“The Loop Line has been my favourite way of getting across Liverpool for years. Now this fantastic green corridor is properly accessible to everyone such as wheelchair users and pram and buggy pushers. Great stuff Liverpool City Council and Sustrans. Whether commuting or taking a leisurely wander the Loop Line is even better than ever.”