Drive has now become a favourite through route to the centre of
Liverpool, which considering how much quicker it is than the
alternatives, is hardly surprising. It carries considerable
commuter traffic, and a fair amount of heavy goods traffic
as well as the general local traffic. The road can
quite adequately cope with the present load, and the traffic
usually flows freely, except during the two peak periods.
It is suggested that the best strategy to deal with that problem, is not to increase the format of the existing road, but to make more efficient use it.
To put you in the picture, here is some information from a traffic survey that we undertook on 9 July 2002.
Survey time 16.30---18.15 only the SE traffic (out of town)
Total cars----------- 1438 carrying 1941 people
Cars with only the driver-------1013----70.44%
Cars with one passenger------359------24.96%
Miscellaneous other vehicles-----148
The total number of people travelling along this route during this 1 3/4 hour period was about 2350. That is not a massive number, and rather than spend many £millions and causing great disfigurement to the local landscape by building bigger roads, it is suggested there are more intelligent methods of dealing with the peak period congestion.
If a peak period only bus lane were to be built on the Aigburth Road route from Dingle as far out towards Widnes as is needed, it would create a situation whereby people could get to work quicker by not taking their car. Other spin off benefits include an emergency route for ambulances, fire etc ,great time saving for existing bus passengers, and probably a reduction in the congestion across the Runcorn bridge, because some of the traffic over the bridge also traverses Riverside Drive.
The HGV traffic could be reduced by building some flyovers at switch island on the M57. At the moment, because of the tailbacks that you get there, some of the HGVs that would otherwise use the M57 to get to the northern docks, instead take the Riverside Drive route to save time.
The way foreword is to analyse the problems perceptively and then devise remedies, not lay down more acres of tarmac every time you see a traffic queue.