Turning the disused railway track to a green feature for Birkenhead
One of the most visual and high-impact features of the Birkenhead Regeneration Framework is the introduction of the “green corridor.”
This innovative development will see this disused railway cutting, which, in its current state effectively divides the local community into two, transformed into an appealing natural and practical park and active travel asset for the town.
With possible financing to come from the Transforming Cities Fund, 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 or green corridor, 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.
Filling the cutting to street level
The scheme proposes to in-fill the cutting from Argyle Street to Rendel Street and the development land adjacent to Birkenhead Central rail station. At a depth of 6.0m, a minimum width of about 19.0m and measuring approximately 800m in length, the cutting is currently completely overgrown and has become a dumping ground for litter and waste, reflecting years of neglect. To bring the corridor up to the same grade as adjacent streets will be a significant undertaking.
However, once level with its surroundings, the disused railway will be transformed into a green corridor with an overall footprint of 3.9ha, containing a pedestrian pathway and a cycleway which will be approximately 4m wide. In addition, the corridor will also contain a bus route which will be approximately 7m wide and 800m long.
The route will not be open to general traffic and bus priority junctions will be established where the route crosses with the existing road network. The project also proposes to establish “living” green areas by planting trees along the corridor.
With sustainability as a key driver for change, this environmental impact and tree planting will be critical. The green corridor will also encompass an integrated Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SuDS) which will alleviate the risk of localised flooding in an ever-changing climate by including innovative drainage such as rain gardens and stormwater tree pits.
These features will connect across the wider area to replace traditional drainage systems, using plants and vegetation to capture and slow the flow of surface water from paved areas and highways, reducing the volume of water which needs to be managed.
At the same time, the planting and engineered soils will filter pollutants, improving water quality, before any excess is transferred into underground storage tanks, potentially to be re-used.
Permeable paving is also proposed for parking bays throughout the scheme, for surface water to filter directly through to a void space below which temporarily stores the rainwater. Many of these features are intended to be highly-visible and interactive, to promote education and awareness of SuDS, to illustrate the movement of water through our town and green areas and the impact on our environment.
Wider programme of transport improvements
As part of the A41 North programme of work, the green corridor is one of a number of projects the Council is aiming to deliver in transport improvements and new transport infrastructure in East Wirral, from the northern-most section of the A41 in Birkenhead, stretching from its junction with Green Lane at the Rock Retail Park to Woodside at the northern end of the site. This area faces the challenge of acting as a strategic corridor whilst also providing a local gateway to Birkenhead town centre and the Queensway tunnel.
The overall strategy for the A41 North will be delivered in three phases: phase 1 from 2020 to 2025, phase 2 from 2025 to 2030 and phase 3 from 2030 to 2040. It will play a pivotal part in increasing connectivity across the borough, reducing the physical division between key development areas and opening up land for major development opportunities.
Have your say
Wirral Council would like to hear your views on the Birkenhead Green Corridor proposals. Your comments will support detailed design development and the planning application process. Please share
your views on the following:
- overall impression
- links to the wider transport network
An online presentation of the proposals will be provided by members of the project team on the dates provided below. If you would like to take part, please register by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org confirming which meeting you would like to attend:
- Wednesday 12 August 2020
- Wednesday 19 August 2020
The events will run from 6pm to 7pm on both days.
You can have your say on these proposals by contacting us on:
- email: email@example.com
- by post: PO Box 290, Brighton Street, Wallasey, Wirral CH27 9FQ
The online exhibition will run inclusively from Wednesday 5 August to Sunday 23 August 2020.