Under current plans, a new route from New Brighton to Birkenhead will begin near Birkenhead Central Station, covering key areas including Egerton Wharf, before passing through Seacombe and Liscard into central New Brighton.
The plan to create a new cycling route in Wirral is seen by some as a major step forward, while others are angry at the prospect of bicycles taking up more space on the roads.
The new route will pass through major high streets and stores.
At this stage, the plans are only a rough outline, the details are still a long way off and require further public consultation, with the route mapped out until 2023.
It is to be connected to the Seacombe ferry terminal and the new attraction EUREKA, which will be built soon! Mersey.
The route will serve major residential areas, main streets and stores, schools and campuses including Wirral Met College.
Pat Cleary, Green City Councillor for Birkenhead and Tranmere, said that improving cycling was a key “social justice issue”.
The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is behind this move, which comes after the launch of the £2 billion government funded “Cycling and Pedestrian Revolution” described on its website in July.
The programme commits to thousands of kilometers of new protected cycle paths and cycling training for every child or adult.
The link between Birkenhead and Wallasey through cycle paths has “massive social benefits”, including easier access for people to leisure facilities and stores, and the obvious benefits of reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Cllr Cleary said that the majority of households in his district have no cars, yet they face one of the worst cycling environments in the district.
Despite some resistance, Cleary said that the City Region and the Wirral Council must “stay on the ball” to implement this plan and make it more normal for people to cycle to school, college and work.
Cllr Cleary said that while there are legitimate concerns that need to be addressed, no one consulted cyclists many decades ago when the roads were built to give priority to vehicles, making it less safe for cyclists.
He also accused Wallasey’s conservative council members, including Congressman Ian Lewis, of “taking the issue to arms” by fomenting local opposition to the plan.
Ian Lewis, the leader of the Conservatives on the Wirral Council, blew up the consultation process.
He said that before the August holiday, only 30 responses had been received, but after local conservative councillors sent 800 letters to households in Wallasey County, the number of responses rose to 500.
“Instead, a plan that has already cost more than £300,000 in consultancy fees is about to be adopted. Those most affected include people who have nowhere else to park, people with disabilities, customers who want to use our pressurised retailers and pedestrians.
“Among the strongest opponents are cyclists who do not want to be guided on some of the busiest and most congested streets in the city.
Mr Lewis added: “The Wirral Council and its colleagues in the City Region have failed to consult those who would be most affected by this plan – residents and businesses along the route. They have also failed to look at the existing cycle routes that require investment.