No shopping, no dropping in Kensington, Smithdown or Walton
Businesses along major Liverpool roads are seeing red over plans that will prevent vehicles stopping outside for even a second.
Forget that quick dash to the shop or pulling over to let a passenger out, red routes are on the way, complete with eagle-eyed CCTV cameras waiting to zoom in on your number plate - and a hefty fine to follow.
Kensington/Prescot Road, Smithdown Road and the A59 County Road/Walton Road have been chosen to have their kerbs painted red because, says Liverpool City Council, they are known to have congestion caused by inconsiderate and illegal parking which creates pinch points and leads to snarl ups.
You can sample the reality of red route motoring on the approach to Liverpool John Lennon Airport. Stopping a vehicle anywhere along the roads to JLA (above us only fines) will quickly land you a fixed penalty ticket.
There is good reason to control traffic flows along busy routes into and out of the city centre, particularly during peak periods. That’s why, under the yellow line laws, councils can introduce a ban on loading or unloading at peak times, though they are widely ignored along most routes.
Shopkeepers, particularly in Walton, fear the red routes will drive some of them out of existence.
So far the city council has not indicated whether the red routes will apply 24/7, weekdays or in the daytime hours. In some red route areas there are marked bays where vehicles can legally stop for short periods.
But some motorists will see this as a cynical way to regain the money the City Treasury lost when Mayor Joe Anderson scrapped the lucrative bus lanes. It is intended that redundant cameras used to capture bus lane infringements will spark back into life to catch red route offenders out.
A city council consultation is to begin on the red route plan, with officials saying it will speed up traffic flow on the three key roads in Liverpool.
Red routes – first introduced in London in 1991 and also used in the West Midlands and Stoke on Trent – are major roads on which vehicles are not permitted to stop and that includes loading and unloading. They are generally in operation from 7am-7pm on Monday to Saturday, although round the clock restrictions usually apply near traffic lights and at bus stops. Blue Badge holders and licensed taxis can still pick up and drop off.
Deputy Mayor, Cllr Ann O’Byrne pledged nothing will happen until the views of the people have been taken into account and "it is just something we are looking in to at this stage".
“As we continue to rebuild our city for the 21st century, attracting more investment, jobs and people, we have to make sure road users can get across the city as quickly and easily as possible. Delays to journeys cost businesses and commuters both time and money."
If approved by the mayoral cabinet, a consultation will get under way which will include community events, an online survey and letters to people whose properties front the affected routes.