Council scramble to save cycle lanes after disclosure legal orders expired four months ago

24th June 2022

Sefton Council have moved to save their controversial town centre cycle lanes, as OTS News can exclusively reveal that the legal orders used to enable them expired over four months ago.

Cycle lanes on Hoghton Street, Talbot Street and Queens Road, along with access to cyclists on Chapel Street, were installed in September 2020.

Agenda documents published by the Council reveal that the Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) used to create the lanes is no longer valid, and that the funding for their installation was dependent on monitoring and assessment that has not been conducted in time.

Council officers are now recommending that Cabinet member Cllr John Fairclough create a new 12-month TTRO so that the relevant monitoring and assessment can take place.

When contacted by OTS News, Sefton Council refused to comment but confirmed that the original TTRO expired on 21/02/2022.

The new 12-month TTRO is likely to be approved next week on Thursday 30 June but will then be subject to scrutiny. Until then, the legal standing of the lanes remains unclear.

A decision on whether the town centre cycle lanes should be made permanent was supposed to be made within 6 months of installation, approximately April 2021.

Officers said that the delay was caused for several reasons, including a national shortage of materials that meant the cycle lanes were not installed as envisaged until over a year later, the original consultation taking longer than expected, and a lack of available guidance from central government on how the schemes should be assessed.

The revelation is likely to increase pressure on Sefton Council from campaigners, who have long called for the lanes to be removed.

Local representatives of the Conservative Party, from MP Damien Moore to local councillors, have regularly opposed any of Sefton Council’s planned cycle lanes in recent years, while Liberal Democrats generally support the idea but not proposed execution.