‘Active travel revolution’ for the Liverpool City Region

Steve Rotheram has said that he wants to see an ‘active travel revolution’ in the Liverpool City Region over the next ten years.

The Metro Mayor for the Liverpool City Region has called on people in the city to leave their cars at home in favour of taking more short journeys by foot or bike, arguing that it would improve air quality by reducing emissions, have a positive impact on health and well-being and help to boost the regional economy.

The long-term plan for cycling and walking infrastructure details plans first announced last year for 600km of new and upgraded foot and bike paths across all six local authority areas – Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral. Over £16 million in funding has already been committed to the first seven key routes, with construction set to begin next year.

The Liverpool City Region has set a target to become zero carbon by 2040, with schemes to support walking and cycling initiatives having already cut carbon emissions in the city region by 1600 tonnes per year.

Rotheram said: “We are living through a climate emergency – and it is our duty to leave a cleaner planet for future generations, but we need to work together to achieve this. That’s why I’m calling for an active travel revolution in our city region. Building and improving our network of walking and cycling routes to make them safer and easier to use is vital, but we also need to make sure they’re part of our plans for a fully integrated local transport network.

“But it’s not only about building infrastructure – we need a cultural shift so that people think about walking and cycling as a genuine alternative to the car. That’s why we’re driving forward with schemes to help people to travel by bike or foot, regardless of their background. I’ve been pushing for more devolution and funding for rail in the North, but active travel could be just as important in the development of our city region – and it’s something we can step up and deliver without having to wait for Westminster.”

Furthermore, following the successful roll out of new Electronic Ticket Machines (ETM) across all 1,295 buses in the city, the Liverpool City Region is now the only region outside of London with a 100 per cent bus network accepting contactless payments. Figures show an average of 18 per cent of transactions across the whole network were paid for by contactless in August 2019, the first full month of operation.

Rotheram said: ​ “The roll out of contactless technology on all our buses, along with the planned online ticket buying portal, is yet another step towards the creation of a London-style transport system, here in the Liverpool City Region. By continually improving our bus offer, we can encourage people out of their cars which will, over time, improve our air quality.”