Birkenhead to Liscard Active Travel Project

Birkenhead to Liscard Active Travel Project

Wirral Council is developing ambitious plans to redesign streets along a direct route between Birkenhead and Liscard town centres to improve accessibility, make streets safer for local people and provide high quality facilities for walkers, wheelers, and cyclists. The proposed 3.5-mile route runs from Chester Street in Birkenhead and connects Hamilton Square Station, Woodside Ferry, Wirral Waters, Seacombe Ferry, Eureka! Science and Discovery Museum, and Liscard Town Centre.

Financed through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, proposals include improved footpaths, redesigned junctions, upgraded crossings, street furniture, dedicated cycling routes, and parking facilities. Strategies like 20mph speed limits, one-way streets, and ‘quiet streets’ are also proposed to prioritise active travel modes.

What we did

We delivered extensive community engagement activities for the Birkenhead to Liscard Active Travel Project including in-person ‘pop-up’ events, public exhibitions, unstaffed displays, young people’s workshops, and interactive community workshops. Our events were informal, interactive, and creative and aimed to create a space where people could find out about the project and share their views through meaningful engagement. Active travel plans can present a challenge in terms of communicating a lot of technical detail. We sought to create accessible materials by working with large print, simplified drawings, additional labelling of streets and landmarks, clear icons, and a glossary of terms. Digital Urban joined us at some of our pop-up events where they gave visitors the opportunity to visualise the proposed route via an exclusive virtual reality experience. Along with our engagement visuals and activities, Digital Urban’s virtual reality experience supported us in delivering public consultation that was innovative, creative, and engaging for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Locations were selected to provide locations along the length of the active travel route and event times and days were varied to help create as many different opportunities for engagement as possible. We delivered some of our initial pop-up events for this project in ‘BirkenEd’s Place’ – our community engagement hub in Birkenhead’s Grange Precinct, which was delivered in partnership with Wirral Council from November 2022 to October 2023.

All of this in-person community engagement we delivered formed part of a wider process of online and stakeholder engagement lead by Wirral Council. Our unstaffed displays held at various venues along the active travel route were designed to support online participation for those comfortable with completing an online survey, but who would benefit from being able to look at hardcopies of the plans. After reviewing the plans, visitors to our unstaffed displays could share their views by completing paper copies of Wirral Council’s survey. The consultation was open for 10 weeks from Monday 25 September to Monday 4 December.

Outcomes

Findings from all of our community engagement events and activities have been compiled into an evaluation report which has been shared with the client, ultimately informing the development of proposals for the Birkenhead to Liscard Active Travel Project.

“PLACED’s events have been really successful and that is down to the hard work of the PLACED team”

Julie Barnes, Wirral Council Lead Commissioner of Transport and Technology

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