Turning the disused railway track to a green space for Birkenhead

One of the most visual and high-impact features of the Birkenhead 2040 Framework is the creation of Dock Branch Park (formerly referred to as the ‘Green Corridor’).

This innovative project will see this disused and overgrown railway cutting, which, in its current state is inaccessible and effectively divides the local community into two, transformed into a world-class urban park.

Dock Branch Park represents a unique opportunity to deliver the urban ‘garden city’ ambitions of the Birkenhead 2040 Framework and will create an appealing natural and practical park and active travel asset for the town.

The Dock Branch Park proposals will bring to life the disused railway line between Rock Ferry and Bidston Dock. The line is thought to be one of the oldest stretches of track in the world, but has been closed since the early 1990s. The plans for Dock Branch Park would see the route brought back into use to benefit communities.

The project will allow for a defined route for walking, cycling and public transport through the centre, along the disused railway track, in an attractively designed, central ‘linear’ park, connecting the town in a first phase to Wirral Waters and Hind Street via Central station roundabout, with future phases having the potential to link further to the north and south.

The vision

Dock Branch Park will be a place where people, heritage, and nature intersect, connect and thrive.

When the branch line was developed, it was designed to run as efficiently as possible, away from the people of the town. Following public consultation in August 2020, the plan to fill the cutting and bring it up to street level has been reconsidered.

The current plans for Dock Branch Park will now see the line be given to the community of Birkenhead for the first time. The ambition is to preserve as much of the heritage of the line as possible whilst bringing it into positive community use. The Park will become a place of natural connection, protecting and diversifying habitats and biodiversity, connecting and creating new communities and a cultural and visitor experience second to none.

Dock Branch Park will comprise a series of connected landscape spaces, featuring high-quality and attractive amenities, public realm and visitor attractions that unlock urban growth and improve economic performance. The Park will be an asset for people of all generations and abilities and become an integral part of the rich network of open space and landscape that characterise the Wirral Peninsula.

Sustainability

With sustainability as a key driver for change, this environmental impact and tree planting will be critical. The design of Dock Branch Park will increase the environmental and ecological performance of the corridor, delivering habitat and air quality benefits as well as water management potential.

The focus on pedestrian and cycle movement through the Park will provide a high-profile platform to promote and encourage active travel.

The Park will also encompass an integrated Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SuDS) which will alleviate the risk of localised flooding in an ever-changing climate.

Birkenhead 2040 Framework

Dock Branch Park is one of nine catalyst projects which form a key part of the Birkenhead 2040 Framework. The Birkenhead 2040 Framework sets out a 20-year plan for the transformational regeneration of Birkenhead. These are the most radical proposals for the town since the 1947 Town Plan.

At the heart of the proposals is the creation of family-friendly neighbourhoods with beautiful, green public spaces and parks. The plan will re-connect the revitalised town centre with the amazing opportunities along the Mersey waterfront, and will make the most of the town’s iconic heritage and buildings.

Find out more about the Birkenhead 2040 Framework

Consultation - have your say

We are consulting on the design of Dock Branch Park until 29 October 2021. We'd like to hear your views on what should be included in the park and what matters most to you.

To find out more and share your ideas, please visit the Have Your Say website.