Bus users in St Helens are benefitting from £1.5m investment in improving bus travel thanks to the work of the Liverpool City Region Better Bus Area project (BBA).
The BBA is a positive collaboration between Merseytravel, St Helens Knowsley and Halton Borough Councils and bus operators Arriva, Stagecoach, Halton Transport and Huyton Travel.
Together they have been responsible for coordinating and delivering a total of £3.5 million bus infrastructure improvements in St Helens, Knowsley and Halton during the past four years (2013/14 to 2017/18).
Relieving congestion, improving connectivity and improving infrastructure are the BBA’s core aims. The BBA members identify and then allocate funds and resources to improvement schemes, which can include upgrading traffic
signals, bus stops or road junctions that will contribute towards achieving those aims.
Improving road junctions or traffic signals can for example aid the smooth flow of buses through the junctions, have a positive impact on journey time and contribute towards reducing congestion.
Improvement works which have now been completed in St Helens include:
Widening of junction and upgrade of traffic signals at A57 Warrington Road and Holt Lane Junction.
Widening of junction and upgrade of traffic signals at A57 Warrington Road/B5419 Wilmere Lane/ Jubits Lane Junction.
Upgrade of adjacent traffic signals at Lea Green Railway Station at the adjacent junction with the A569 Marshall’s Cross Road.
Additional pedestrian crossing at the north entrance on Corporation Street into St Helens Bus Station.
Bus priority measures to help reduce delays to buses and upgrading of traffic signals at the A58 Prescot Road/Freckleton Road junction and the adjacent junction with Lugsmore Lane.
Improvement works which are still to be completed in St Helens include:
Widening of junction and upgrade of traffic signals at A57 Warrington Road/Longton Lane/Old Lane junction.
Upgrade of traffic signals and bus priority measure at A58 Prescot Road/Dunriding Lane junction.
Upgrading of traffic signals at the south exit of the St Helens Bus Station onto Bickerstaffe Street and at the adjacent junction at Library Street.
Upgrade of existing traffic signals at the A570 Chalon Way/Bridge Street/Canal Street junction and also in Westfield Street.
Upgrade of existing traffic signals at the Westfield Street/Cotham Street/Baldwin Street junction
St Helens has and will continue to benefit as a result of the Better Bus Area programme, in which a number of junctions that were causing delays in bus journey times have been upgraded.
One such junction is the A57 Warrington Road/B5419/Jubits Lane junction, where carriageway widening works have enabled buses travelling along Warrington Road to now pass vehicles queuing to turn right into Wilmere Lane.
This is now reducing these delays, whilst improving bus journey times, as well as improving the operational efficiency of the upgraded traffic signals and providing improved pedestrian crossing facilities, thus increasing road safety.
St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Growth with responsibility for transport, Councillor John Fulham, said: “I very much welcome this injection of external funding into public transport which a large number of St Helens residents depend on to go about their daily business.
“Together with great offers including the MyTicket for youngsters and the ‘all area’ Solo bus tickets, achieved under the Bus Alliance, these developments make travelling by bus a better option for the public.
“The City Region’s commitment in investing in these types of improvements can only be a positive thing in the long run as it will reduce congestion and decrease journey times which I hope will encourage more and more people to come to realise how reliable this form of transport can be.”