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Goodbye bus lanes. Hello Red Routes?

No stopping, no dropping and no excuses. Why the London-style fixed penalty may soon be painting the town red

Written by . Published on October 17th 2014.

Goodbye bus lanes. Hello Red Routes?

MOTORISTS tempted to get out of their cars and dance on the street graves of the soon-to-go bus lanes beware: just around the corner is a potentially more ferocious vehicle attack weapon. 

For ‘son of bus-lanes’, read Red Route Invader.

Mayor Anderson has already backed the idea of a network of Red Routes where stopping even for a moment is illegal, and expensive

No more popping into a shop to buy a newspaper; no more stopping for a moment to drop the kids off at school. Along Red Routes there ain’t no stopping. Period.

Red-Route-SignNot even for a secondThough this isn’t (apparently) the reason, the permanent scrapping of all but four of the city’s 26 bus lanes will rob the city treasury of an annual income of hundreds of thousands of pounds. That’s the money paid in fixed penalties by often unsuspecting drivers entering the tarmaced twilight zones where all but buses, taxis and cycles are banned.

The London-style Red Routes, policed by ANPR number plate recognition cameras, are bound to become an income stream for the council.

There is an obvious logic. Vehicles stopping even briefly, particularly at peak times, on major routes cause hold-ups and delays to everybody.

Whether small shopkeepers, whose livelihoods rely on supplying a daily fix of ciggies, bread and wine to passing trade, will agree remains to be seen.

Details of a city virtually devoid of bus lanes have been published in a report today, ahead of next Friday’s cabinet meeting.

The Lime Street and St John’s Lane bus lanes  - two of the most lucrative – will stay along with several others. The rest will go.

A review of bus lanes has been carried out by transport consultants Mott MacDonald. They make the recommendations about ditching most of them in a 500+ page report which can't have come cheap.

Waiting in the wings, though, is the wider City Transport Plan, to be published in February. This will examine options such as the use of Red Routes, better cycling lanes, junction remodelling, reconfiguring gateway routes to the city centre and public transport.

Inbound and outbound - the bus lane lie of the land


Staying:  Lime Street (Renshaw  Street) Inbound Bus lane to be re-instated, but just to cover the afternoon peak, except Sundays.

St Johns Lane Inbound Bus lane to be re-instated, but just to cover the afternoon peak except Sundays.

Strand Street  (James  Street right  turn) Outbound Bus lane to be re-instated, but only to cover daytime period.

Strand Street (Southbound) Inbound Bus Lane to be retained.

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11 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Katie54October 17th 2014.

This solution makes sense (much as I hate to admit it). It's just a pity that the whole thing was handled in such a high-handed way.

AnonymousOctober 17th 2014.

Until they sort out some proper cycle lanes taking up a safe amount of road width I won't believe they intend to do anything to make this city greener or healthier. Get your priorities right. The roads are terrifying in Liverpool for cyclists.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
mickeydrippin'October 17th 2014.

If a large number of additional cycle lanes are going to be provided, some main roads could once more be restricted to a single lane for other traffic. Joe Anderson, who wants to be the motorist's champion, will again say that they are causing congestion and they will go the same way as the bus lanes. If specialist cycle routes are to be provided, they will have to be totally separate from mainstream traffic, which could be OK in the suburbs but problematic in some inner-city areas.

Insp ClouseauOctober 17th 2014.

In cities and city centre right across Europe this isn't a problem. Cycles share the roads with traffic in separate lanes, often down the middle of the road.

mickeydrippin'October 17th 2014.

Yes Inspector but in other parts of Europe, drivers totally respect cyclists and cyclists respect drivers - it's in their blood. In the UK however there has always been mutual hatred between both parties. Drivers think that cyclists should not be on the road and cyclists (sadly, some do believe that the Highway Code is not meant for them) think that drivers are out to do them injury. Basically, each party in the UK is displaying a degree of arrogance, by thinking only they should be on the road! So, until each road user (cyclist, biker, motorist, bus driver and lorry driver) starts treating each other with respect, the roads will always be dangerous places.

AnonymousOctober 17th 2014.

Disabled or older people in taxi's won't like it.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 17th 2014.

Its only on main roads isn't it so probably fair enough its not like its going to be everywhere.

mickeydrippin'October 21st 2014.

Many main roads in Liverpool - and other cities - were built prior to WW2 when the present-day traffic volumes were not envisaged. Some improvements have been made over the years but there are many areas where congestion is still an everyday occurrence (e.g. Old Swan and Walton Vale). Total remodelling of some junctions plus road widening is often the usual way to solve these problems but this could result in some demolition of residential and/or business properties and - heaven help - some patches of green space may have to be used. One alternative of course would be to restrict the use of private cars but the motoring lobby would be up in arms. Whatever course of action is suggested by Joe Anderson and the Council, it going to upset one group or another

AnonymousOctober 23rd 2014.

Where is the evidence supporting this decision? I would like to think such a decision was based on a comprehensive, independent evaluation exercise.

John DaviesOctober 23rd 2014.

There's a 605 page report written by a private consultancy. I only read the recommendations and one of the Mayor’s Priorities to support ending bus lanes for 'Making the city cleaner, greener and healthier': is 'A reduction in congestion levels and the free flow of traffic on the City’s highway network promotes positive impact on air quality'. There's logic for you! If you'r interested this is the link to the 14mb pdf councillors.liverpool.gov.uk/…/Supplementary%20Agenda%2022nd-Oct-2014%2017.00%20Regeneration%20Housing%20Sustainability%20Select%20Committee.pdf…

Mad MitchNovember 17th 2014.

remind the silly cyclist that they are not exempt from the highway code and signal ..the daft sods wander wobbly and ride in twos simple way to improve traffic in Liverpool is to do it Paris style access on days according to even or odd plates .......that be so much fun and a great city earner

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