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Greens call on Mayor to build back better with new post-lockdown safe-to-cycle roads

Image Attribution: Peter Boytman Creative Commons CC0 1.0

Liverpool Green Party today (Friday May 29) wrote to Mayor Joe Anderson urging him to offer people the chance to get back to work safely by extending the new temporary cycle network to cover all the city’s major roads and to consider making it permanent.

The party backed the call with a city-wide petition signed by over 1,000 people calling on Mayor Anderson to urgently reallocate road space for cycling and walking and introduce a default 20mph speed limit to make the city’s back-to-work plans safe for all.

Green Councillor Tom Crone welcomed the council opening a partial cycle network after calling for the move over six weeks ago. Mr Crone added: ‘I’m frustrated that it is still not pushing ahead as quickly as it could and should.’

Mr Crone said there was an urgent need for the council to act as the government begins easing movement restrictions and starts to allow shops to re-open and people to return to work.

‘Time is of the essence. People are being encouraged back into work, but not to travel by public transport. If we don’t act quickly all available road space will be taken up with cars and the city’s air quality will return to its previous appalling state, congestion will return, and we may have let an opportunity pass us by.’

Mr Crone added: ‘We all know that life is going to be different after the awful loss of life caused by this terrible disease. There can be no simple return to life as it was.

‘This is a once-in-a-generation chance to build back better, support people’s desire to live in a cleaner, safer environment and get our city up and running again.

‘We owe it to everyone who has made huge sacrifices to save lives over the last few months to build back better. So, I am urging the mayor to join with us in meeting people’s needs for safe routes back to work and to the switch to cycling and walking by making our roads permanently safe for cyclists and pedestrians.’

Notes to editors

1.     Full text of Cllr Crone’s email to Mayor Joe Anderson

Dear Joe

Please find follow this link to view our petition calling for pop-up cycle lanes and 20mph speed limits in Liverpool. It has passed a thousand, which shows there is public support for bold measures to support cycling.

I welcome the council at last listening to Green Party calls over the last six weeks for this kind of commitment to support people to get to work safely by bike, but I’m frustrated that it is still not pushing ahead as quickly as it could and should.

Time is of the essence. People are being encouraged back into work, but not to travel by public transport. If we don’t act quickly all available road space will be taken up with cars and the city’s air quality will return to its previous appalling state, congestion will return, and we may have let an opportunity pass us by. 

Let’s install generous cycle lanes on every major road into the city centre by whatever means we can. As people grow in confidence and recognise that it really is possible, safe and simple to switch to cycling, we can assess the routes and make the most successful ones permanent.

The introduction of a default city wide 20mph will send a clear message that we want to make our roads as safe as possible.

These measures can and should be implemented urgently while there is widespread public support, reduced traffic, and a wide assumption that things are changing in front of our eyes.

Let’s work together to ensure there is a positive environmental and public health legacy left after this horrendous crisis has passed.

Best wishes

Tom

2.     See Green Cllr Tom Crone on Smithdown Road making the case for a safe cycle network here.

3.     Read Green Cllr Lawrence Brown making the case for a cycle-safe Liverpool and ideas for a car-free Bold Street here.

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