The funding will give a significant boost to sustainable transport across the borough
The funding will give a significant boost to sustainable transport across the borough

Our Labour Cabinet have this week agreed £3.8m funding for a range of sustainable transport improvements across the borough.

A £1.5m scheme to improve and increase cycling infrastructure in St Helens Borough has been given the green light following cabinet approval to award construction contracts for two major projects.

Funded by the Liverpool City Region (LCR) – as part of a strategy to create more than 55km of green walking and cycling corridors across the City Region – and match funded by the LCR’s Transforming Cities Fund – the Sustainable Transport and Green Infrastructure scheme will see works carried out at Gerards Bridge and Canal Greenway, as well as Sankey Valley to Colliers Moss Greenway.

The overall scheme will have three elements:

New footbridges over Rainford Brook/Sankey Canal and repairs to damaged canal walls and towpath

New and improved on and off-road footways/cycleways connecting to the existing network across the Borough

Watercourse improvement works to Rainford Brook to improve biodiversity and alleviate flooding at College Street which was completed in November 2020. Among the improvements for the Gerards Bridge and Canal Greenway route, 1km of three-metre-wide cycleway will be installed between College Street and Merton Bank Road as well as a path upgrade on Merton Bank Road to Park Road – while the Sankey Valley to Colliers Moss route will include an off-road cycle path from Fleet Lane to Colliers Moss railway bridge.

Work on the Sustainable Transport and Green Infrastructure scheme is expected to start this year.

Read the cabinet report in full here:

And a further £2.3m in funding has been agreed to deliver a number of key sustainable travel schemes, including expanding the borough’s walking and cycling network – and building a new state-of-the-art bus station in St Helens town centre.

The money has been awarded from the Liverpool City Region which has already unlocked large-scale funding opportunities to help boost the borough’s economy, having financially backed key regeneration projects such as the Moss Nook housing development and the ground-breaking Glass Futures research and innovation facility.

While the council was one of only 21 local authorities in the country to receive £500k from the Department for Transport as part of a traffic signals maintenance scheme which will see cutting-edge, carbon-friendly technology used to upgrade Boardman’s Lane and Chancery Lane, Parr – as well as the Park Road and Ashcroft Street junction.

With planning permission granted for 1,100 new dwellings on a strategic brownfield site at Cowley Hill, outline designs will go ahead for measures to improve sustainable travel between St Helens Town Centre and the A580 East Lancashire Road, including a business case for a new railway station at Carr Mill.

Meanwhile, supporting the council’s ambitious vision for St Helens town centre – which recently received a £25m funding boost – plans will be drawn up for a new St Helens Bus Station, along with improved walking and cycling access in and around the town centre.

Building on the success of recent walking and cycling improvements along Chester Lane, Jubits Lane and Clock Face Road – which has resulted in 365,00 trips on foot and by bike between December 2020 and July 2021 – more routes will be put in to join Lea Green with Whiston Hospital – as well as an all year round walking and cycling connection with Clock Face, Sutton and Omega Business Park to allow residents to access nearby job opportunities at major employment sites.

Commenting after the total funding for £3.8m was approved at cabinet, Labour Councillor Andy Bowden, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said:  

“This funding is targeted at projects that deliver on the ambitions set out by the Labour group in our Borough Strategy, supporting a strong and thriving local economy, and will help to create a green and vibrant place to live and work.

Once again we are demonstrating that as a Labour council we are delivering the infrastructure our residents need to make active modes of travel viable, safe and attractive.

I want to thank officers for their hard work, both here and at the LCR in securing this funding. We are building a strong team, strengthening our links within the city region and Labour Metro Mayor Steve Rotherham, and securing the investment which enables us to deliver on the commitments we as a Labour council have made to our community.

Whilst the opposition groups continue to take a simplistic and unsustainable view of how we address climate change, we are getting on with making the decisions that will transform our borough and delivering the projects that will see real change, support our community and meet our commitments on climate change.”

View the cabinet report here: 

Cllr Andy Bowden
Cllr Andy Bowden
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