WORK is to start in the New Year to make major improvements to one of Liverpool City centre’s main shopping areas. The pedestrianised area at Parker Street, Elliot Street and Houghton Street will be transformed in a £3m scheme which not only will improve the quality of the materials used to pave the streets but will improve its landscape and make it a more attractive route. Liverpool City Council is working on the scheme in conjunction with Mott MacDonald and BCA Landscape. It includes replacing the paving, removing clutter by reducing the amount of street furniture and replacing large trees with one more suited to the location. The paving is to be replaced with materials similar to those on Church Street to make a uniform appearance throughout the main retail area. And the large trees which currently dominate the landscape will be removed and replaced with trees more suited to a pedestrian environment. They will also be sited in a way to direct pedestrian movements and allow delivery vehicle’s access to shops. The steps which link Elliot Street to Great Charlotte Street are to be redesigned to make them less steep and include ‘double height’ steps for seating. The work will also complement the St. John’s Market refurbishment which will include a newly improved entrance to the market from Elliot Street. Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, cabinet member for regeneration and transport, said;” This is an important part of the city centre. It is heavily used not only by shoppers but is a key link between Lime Street and Central stations. “It is an area which is looking tired and dated and badly needs improving. What is being planned will transform the quality of the street scene and make it a much more attractive location for shoppers and visitors.” Funding for the scheme has been provided through the Local Growth Fund’s STEP (sustainable transport enhancement package) programme. Work on removing the large trees will start in January with the main work starting in February and is expected to last about six months. Access to shops and businesses will be maintained throughout the work.