View Full Version : The Liverpool Inner Motorway

09-15-2007, 04:41 PM
If you thought the traffic on the Dock Road was bad, it could have been a lot, lot worse... there were plans not all that long ago for a circular motorway around the city centre, obliterating the Strand, Leeds Street, Byrom St, Berry Street and Park Lane, and connecting right out to the M62 too (that's why it ends now at junction 4).

Ex-industrial city Manchester has an urban motorway. Ex-industrial city Leeds has an urban motorway. Ex-industrial city Newcastle has an urban motorway. Are you seeing a trend? A glance at any map of Merseyside, on the other hand, reveals a city devoid of motorway mileage.

But in the early 1960's, Liverpool did make plans for an urban motorway - the Liverpool Inner Motorway - and got as far as drawing up detailed plans. There is evidence to suggest it was still on the cards as recently as the late 1970's. So what happened to it?

Read about it here (http://www.cbrd.co.uk/histories/lim/)

09-15-2007, 04:44 PM
To build a motorway, the route could not remain at ground level. To achieve full grade-separation, and because of the challenges of sinking the route below ground level, the entire road was to be elevated. It was recommended that much of the land underneath could be made available for service industries or other purposes - one architect's sketch showed the LIM running on the roof of a shopping centre - and in some places, buildings could be constructed over and under the road (imagine a building with a hole in the middle, through which the motorway passes). The details of a suitable design to elevate a motorway without being too obtrusive was solved by designing the support piers at this early stage.


09-15-2007, 04:45 PM
I have one of the original books regarding the Inner Ring Road, and it contains lots of maps and information about it.

But this server is not letting me upload pics...Kev?

(done all the usual cookies and the like).

09-15-2007, 08:32 PM
Thats fascinating :PDT11

I'm still investigating issues with attachments. Some members can and some cannot, bare with it until it fadeds away, hopefully soon.

The Gardens
09-16-2007, 09:23 AM
The Vauxhall Neighbourhood Council (VNC) held a protest in the 1970's against the proposed inner ring road. The 40m project was to circle all of the inner city tenements (including Gerard Gardens where I lived). They made a documentary at the time called 'Homes Not Roads' which is featured in my documentary 'Gardens of Stone'. Their film was narrated by Brian Jacques and includes an interview with Lewis Lesley (later Professor Lesley) who highlighted the inner ring road would be of no benefit for the city cientre residents.

Council tennents where easy targets for any road developments. The Kingsway tunnel was due to be built in the south of the city, but fear of protests from 'home owners' meant it was built in an area occupied by council tennents (no compulsary purchase orders needed!). Communities and families were dispersed all over Merseyside as a result.

The attached picture shows St George's Hall in the background, Gerard Gardens in the foreground, and the labyrinth of roads sounding everything in sight!! The VNC were sucessfull in their plight, and the plans were scrapped. The city owes these people a great debt. The film can be seen st St George's Hall today at 10.30am.

09-16-2007, 09:27 AM
Excellent again, very interesting :PDT11

09-16-2007, 11:17 AM
Have you got any more pics like that from the scheme? It's worrying what they nearly got away with. Even more worrying that they did get away with it so often too, like Westway in London, I saw pictures of that passing literally inches people's bedroom windows :eek:

09-16-2007, 11:29 AM
Here's a proposed map, it's poor quality so it's hard to make out where it all is in relation to what we know, but starting in the top left, it goes through Leeds St, Norton St, Seymour St, across to Berry St and Great George St, then back up Park Lane and Strand Street.

The planners weren't totally insensitive:

The elevation plans reveal that it drops to ground level as it travels along The Strand, perhaps in reverence to the Royal Liver and Cunard Buildings.

Click here for maps (http://www.cbrd.co.uk/histories/lim/centralliverpool.shtml)

It looks like some of it did get built - the Churchill Way flyovers, the wide junction at the bottom of Islington, similarly at the top of the Strand/Waterloo Rd junction, and lots of open space around other parts of the route (Upper Parliament St/Gt George St/Park Lane for instance).

The Gardens
09-16-2007, 04:25 PM
Attached are some of the other proposals for the inner ring road.

1. Shows the map of the proposed area
2. The proposals for Scotland Road
3. The layout for St George's Hall
4. Proposal for Islington and Christian Street

Most of these plans were utter madness and a knee jerk reaction to develop a transport policy to accommodate increasing levels of traffic coming into the city.