Transport Planning

One of the key components in town planning is the provision of transport systems. This was particularly important after the Second World War when housing developments extended to outside the existing city limits.

Traffic congestion was the most potent problem facing Liverpool?s transport planners from the 1930s onwards. Some people blamed public transport for the slow moving traffic in the central area of the city, surprising considering the statistics showing the rapid growth in private car ownership. In 1930 there were 9,400 cars owned by private individuals and by 1935 this figure had already risen, by 40%, to 13,300. Due to the lack of parking provision in the city people parked their cars in the busiest streets. The planners sought to remedy this by building multi-storey car parks and insisting that new business premises in the city centre provided parking on at least one or two floors.

Post-war schemes for road improvements were brought in to attempt to draw traffic away from the busiest areas of the city. The inner ring road was designed to take traffic around the perimeter of the city?s central shopping and business area. Public transport was to be excluded from this central area and diverted around the ring road via the city?s three main railway stations. Three outer ring roads were planned with the third ring following the route of Liverpool?s first ring road, Queens Drive. Radial roads linked the ring roads together, like the spokes of a wheel. One way streets in the city centre helped to keep traffic moving here.

Some of the ideas promoted by the city?s transport planners were not always realistic. Plans for a new bus station were produced in 1955, incorporating a helicopter landing area on the roof of the building! The planners believed that helicopter travel would become a popular mode of inter-city travel.