Liverpool City Council leaders look set to propose the removal of the majority of Liverpool’s bus lanes.
The Liverpool Echo reported that the move, to go before the cabinet next week, will suggest getting rid of all but four of the 26 routes. These are Lime Street, The Strand, James Street and St John’s Lane, although a council spokesman said some would operate at different times than previously used.
The decision to suspend the lanes last year was criticised by bus operators and passengers, as well as cyclists who said they felt safer using the lanes.
Opposition leaders have said they believed the routes that were to be kept were the ones most important to keep the city centre moving, but questioned how much consideration the council had given to what would be done with the now redundant lanes on the routes in and out of Liverpool.
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said he was looking at where more cycle lanes could be introduced and parking enforcement would be stepped up against irresponsible motorists.
He said: “I want to make sure that travelling through the city is as quick as possible for all road users.
“It’s vital for business, for residents, for visitors and I wasn’t convinced our routes were working as well as they could.
“Now for the first time we have robust data about the effects of bus lanes, rather than people’s opinions about how useful or otherwise they are.
“As a result of this thorough and independent review, there a clear recommendations that the majority of bus lanes should be removed which I will honour.
“A number of issues that have emerged during the discussions include the level of indiscriminate parking on some of our key bus lane routes which disrupt traffic flow and we will take measures to prevent this including applying to the Department for Transport for permission to introduce red routes.
“There have also been discussions about how best we can provide facilities for cyclists.”
An Arriva spokesman said: “We are surprised this is being discussed at present as the report does not go to Committee until next week.
“As members of the Steering Group who have participated in the review, we have only seen and commented on a Draft copy and there was an agreement not to say anything publicly until after the Committee had considered the report and it’s decision made known.”