Targeted areas of Merseyside are set to benefit from a £0.5 million street tree planting programme delivered by The Mersey Forest which will create more attractive travel routes between areas of high unemployment and places of education, training and work.
Funded by the Department for Transport, the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) 2012-2015 has awarded almost £25 million to Merseyside to deliver sustainable travel solutions that support economic growth while reducing carbon emissions. As part of this The Mersey Forest has secured funding to plant street trees and other greenery along a total of 22km of "linking routes" in the following five areas:
Wirral: tree planting to begin early 2013 (read more). Speke (Liverpool), Kirkby (Knowsley), Sutton Manor (St.Helens) and North Liverpool / South Sefton: tree planting to begin winter 2013/2014.
Working closely with the project partners, the street tree planting will contribute to The Mersey Forest's already successful Green Streets project, which since 2007 has planted more than 1000 street trees in Merseyside and North Cheshire.
Local residents and businesses in the five areas will be put at the heart of the plans thanks to community consultations carried out by The Mersey Forest which will ask local communities which species of trees they would like to see near them and whether they wish to be involved in watering their new trees.
The greening of the routes will complement a raft of other local projects within the wider LSTF programme, such as cycle hire schemes and improved bus services. Together with the street greening work, the projects aims to boost the number of people using sustainable modes of travel including walking, cycling and taking the bus, providing a greener route to work. Benefits will include reduced carbon emissions and air pollution, improved physical and mental health, and more people entering training, education and ultimately employment.
LSTF projects are delivered by The Merseyside Transport Partnership consisting of Merseytravel and the five local authorities of Merseyside – Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St.Helens and Wirral, with Sustrans, The Mersey Forest and the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce.