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Plans for Wirral Waters streetcar revealed
9:30am Friday 15th February 2013 in News
PLANS for a streetcar designed to help people get around the £4.5bn Wirral Waters' development have been revealed.
Developers Peel say the 'Wirral Streetcar' will provide a 'feeder service' into the Merseyrail Network.
It adds that the streetcar scheme is "Unique to the UK. It will be lighter, cheaper and more flexible than a tram, and is more akin to Streetcar projects in the US, such as in Portland and San Francisco. They act as a catalyst to regeneration."
The £4.5bn Wirral Waters scheme will see the creation of around 27,000 new jobs over the next 30 years and the complete transformation of derelict brownfield land in Birkenhead Docks.
The scheme was approved unanimously by Wirral Council in August 2010.
There are also plans to build an auto-parts plant on land in the Wirral Waters site.
More than 1,000 trees will be planted today in an area that will become one of the key gateway routes into the development.
It is the country’s biggest regeneration project, focusing on 500 acres of semi derelict dockland in Birkenhead and Wallasey, facing Liverpool’s famous waterfront.
The new treed landscape will help transform key streets connecting Wirral Waters into existing communities including North Birkenhead.
Keith Jones, area director of the Forestry Commission, said: "This is not about trees, its about targeted and strategic tree planting.
"The creation of 'green infrastructure' that will act as a catalyst for economic growth.
"This is why BIS and the Forestry Commission are working together on Newlands via the £1.4m, Setting the Scene for Growth (SSFG) plan."
The creation of green transport routes – encouraging walking, cycling and public transport has shown to be a key factor in changing people’s travel behavior, increasing peoples travel horizons and opportunities.
Keith Jones added "This shows how the private and public sector can work together.
"Peel’s plans for Wirral Waters are incredible; in terms of its vision, ambition and scale.
"The investment in trees and landscaping is about connecting these new developments to the existing fabric of the area. It’s also about telling investors we are open for business."
The environmental improvements are a key aspect within the early stages of Wirral Waters’ vision to turn around four decades of decline.
Richard Mawdsley, project director of Peel, said: "This event marks another step forward in the Wirral Waters journey. It took us six years to secure the planning permission – the largest in the UK.
"We have now moved into a new phase - which is about changing perceptions.
"We need to use the current economic climate to build the right infrastructure as we look to build occupier confidence and make Wirral Waters 'of Wirral'.
"Tree planting and green infrastructure is a major strand of that plan. BIS, the Forestry Commission, Mersey Forest and Peel have worked hard on this. We are all aiming for the same goal – 'jobs' and economic growth.”