Spotlight on . . .

ROADS THAT NEVER WERE  (Part 2) by Mike Chitty

At the beginning of the 20th century, the problems of access to the docks by horse-drawn wagons and the new forms of motor traffic were becoming so acute that the newly-appointed City Engineer, John Brodie, proposed a 'circumferential boulevard' to be constructed around the edge of Liverpool's built-up area. This new road - Queens Drive, named after Queen Alexandra - was to be 8 miles long, running from Bootle to Otterspool, and would link up all of the new radial dual-carriageway roads such as Walton Hall Avenue, Muirhead Avenue, Menlove Avenue and Aigburth Road. Wavertree village by that time marked the boundary between Liverpool's suburbs and the countryside beyond, and it was inevitable that the new boulevard would pass through the former township (which had been incorporated into the City of Liverpool in 1895).

A map survives (see below) showing the alternative alignments that were being considered for Queens Drive in 1909. The city boundary at that time ran along Priory Road, between what we now know as the Rocket and the Fiveways. The Liverpool Garden Suburb was about to be developed, and is marked as 'Garden City Site' on the map. The preferred option for Queens Drive was a route close to the western boundary of this proposed housing estate, more or less following the line of the present-day Southway and Abbeystead Road.

The solution finally adopted was the conversion of Priory Road to a dual carriageway, which took place in 1910. Annotations on the map suggest that the alignment chosen was the result of negotiations with the Marquess of Salisbury and other local landowners.

(To be continued)

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