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Glimpses of failed city 'skywalk' plan.

IN Part 2 of our look at Liverpool's failed 'Walkways in the Sky' project of the 1960s and 70s, we focus on some of the remaining evidence of the old bridges and links...

| A ghost bridge and a vanished concrete giant In Rumford Street, next to the Mersey Tunnel ventilation tower, there's a stairway and a sign much higher up saying Empire Bridge.

has but That bridge once led across Fazakerley Street, above the entrance to the car park, and into a building called Richmond House. That building was flattened in the early 2000s, but pictures show it had walkways running around it linking to the Atlantic Tower beyond.

| Hotel's very own street in the skyThe Atlantic Tower boasts one of the best-preserved parts of the walkway system.

The ship-shaped tower sits on a platform that one linked to Richmond House - you can see where the link bridge once was, and the street signs for Atlantic Terrace.

Empire Bridge has gone - but its sign remains The hotel's restaurants were designed to face the walkways rather than the street. Despite being on a futuristic pedestrian platform under a hotel inspired by a ship, the Club Car is designed to look like a train carriage.

| Underground station in the skyMoorfields has to be one of the most unusual underground stations in the world - because you have to go up stairs to get in. That's because the station was built to link up with firstfloor walkways that never happened.

Despite its recent recladding, you can still see that the entrance hall to the station, which sits on stilts above the pavement, could have been part of a walkway.

| James Street is a good example of how walkways were included in new developments on an existing street.

New office blocks were being built on both sides of the street, as was a car park in Moor Street.

So the council arranged for a walkway to built through those developments, including a bridge across James Street by the station and a bridge across Moor Street.

The bridge has gone but there are still plenty of remnants of these walkways. You can still walk through Graeme House, next to the Crown Court complex, and see where the bridge entrance used to be.

If you look up at Victoria House, opposite James Street station, you can see a balcony at first floor level where the walkway was.

The front of James Street station has been reclad so there's no sign of the bridge. But there's still a bridge over narrow Moor Street behind, and you can again see where the route to the bridge once was.

| The Strand From the start, planners were keen that the walkway system should help people cross The Strand, which was then (and now) a busy road cutting the city centre off from the Pier Head.

It was even more important then to have a crossing as the Pier Head was home to a large bus station.

Perhaps because The Strand is so busy, a bridge across The Strand survived for decades.

The bridge went across from what is now Beetham Plaza to a staircase near the Mersey Tunnel ventilation shaft.

But it had a bad reputation, perhaps not helped by poor maintenance. From the outset, it was known as a "mugger's alley".

It came down in 2007, just before Capital of Culture year.

But while that bridge has gone, another remnant of the system remains on the Strand.

Next to the Travelodge opposite Mann Island is a dingy concrete staircase that leads up to a walkway through Graeme House to Liverpool Crown Court.

That walkway's concrete finish and now-smashed lights show what the wider system once looked like.

meant to | The Roe Street Gyratory One part of the city that's changed almost beyond recognition in recent years is around Queen Square.

But the area was once crossed by walkways over what was known as the Roe Street Gyratory. These walkways, which became covered in graffiti and spoiled the view of St George's Hall, were never popular and came down in the early 1990s.

| St Johns Shopping Centre St Johns Centre was a key part of the walkway system. You could walk through the centre - but you could also walk around it above street level.

That's why there are "double decker" shops outside the centre overlooking Elliot Street on one side and Roe Street on the other.

The most obvious relic of the old walkways is the huge staircase that rises from near the Queen Square bus station to an entrance to the shopping centre next to the Royal Court.

Moorfields was to link walkways Now, it seems like an unnecessary entrance. But it makes sense when you remember that it once linked to a longvanished bridge across Roe Street.


Moorfields was meant to link to walkways

Empire Bridge has gone - but its sign remains

Richmond House, on the corner of Fenwick Street and Chapel Street, before it was demolished in 2001. The old "walkway in the sky" around the building leads from the Atlantic Tower hotel, left, to Empire Bridge and the Royal Sun Alliance building, right

This derelict stairwell leading to Graeme House is a remnant of the old system

The original exterior of St John's shopping centre had a network of raised shops and walkways

Looking up past Queen Square, towards St George's Hall, this unpopular walkway was demolished in 1992

The Atlantic Tower hotel still retains its Atlantic Terrace route, complete with official city road sign
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 16, 2018
Next Article:Echos of the past; 25 years ago...

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