Comments : Merseytram must remove CPO from properties in Liverpool
Seven years ago, Merseytravel dreamed of creating their first ever tram line thorough Liverpool, naming the scheme Merseytram Line One.
However, many obstacles stood in the way of the Merseytram development, the first being the refusal of Government funding of £170 million for the scheme. Efforts to overturn the decision in November 2005 failed as the appeal was unsuccessful.
The second obstacle that blocked the development was the amount of properties that had Compulsory Purchase Orders submitted on them, this was a controversial move and caused outrage through Liverpool City Centre. Properties included houses, offices, shops and pubs from Kings Docks, through the city centre, along London Road and out to Kirkby.
The proposed route for the Merseyteam Line One has 30 stops including The Empire Theatre, Royal Liverpool Hospital, West Derby Road, London Road and would terminate at Kirkby town centre.
The total amount of property that would have to be knocked to the ground is the equivalent to 22 full sized football pitches. The former Liverpool council leader Lord Storey demanded that the Merseytram project must not go ahead and the threat of the COP’s must be removed.
The Compulsory Purchase Order has affected many businesses on London Road, holding it back from moving into the 21st century with proposals for a hotel and restaurant denied. The CPO will hang over the 152,791 square meters of land until February 2013 when the notice expires.
Another hurdle that became apparent was the financial cost. Excluding the fact that the Government did not grant Merseytravel the £170 million they requested, they have already spent £70 million on the project. The £70 million figure was racked up by paying consultants around £28 million, £15 million on moving utilities and a further £17 million on the design of the Merseytram and management costs.
Considering the country is in a deep recession, Merseytravel seem to continue spending taxpayer’s money like its readily available. Recently, Merseytravel moved their head office to the new Mann Island waterfront offices and our blog about the controversial and costly move can be read HERE.
Following the move to the Mann Island offices, the chairman of Merseytravel, Mark Dowd quit after stating his position has become untenable and he would not be seeking re election in the Annual General Meeting on the 28th June 2012.
What do you think of Merseytravels situation and do you think Liverpool needs a tram system?
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