Close to half the bus routes into Liverpool city centre are set to be overhauled in a radical move that will affect thousands of travellers.

The major new proposals, announced by Merseytravel this morning, are set to come into force next January – but passengers will get a chance to give their views on them from today until later this summer.

It’s believed that around 11,000 passengers a day will be affected by the move, which is happening in tandem with the council’s £45m Liverpool City Centre Connectivity Scheme – and could see passengers forced to walk further distances to get to their daily destinations.

The scheme will eventually see changes to major roads in the city, including pedestrianisation schemes on Lime Street and the Strand.

Councillor Liam Robinson, chair of the city region’s transport committee, said the scheme is attempting to make the city cleaner, greener and more attractive.

He said: “To achieve this, there has to be changes to how traffic moves around, including buses.

“Some people will be able to get on and off where they do now, others may be closer to their end destination and some may need to walk a bit further, and that’s why there will be cross-city bus provision between the two bus stations for those who need it.”

He said that changes to the plans would likely be ‘limited’ because of wider alterations to the city centre’s road network.

How will routes change?

In total, 31 of the 67 routes into the city centre will see their routes altered.

Exact details of the changes vary by route, but a key part of the plan is to reduce the number of buses moving through the city centre.

To achieve that, the proposals have been designed so that routes will stop and start at either Queens Square or Liverpool One Bus Station instead of travelling through the city centre.

There will then be a shuttle service across the city centre for passengers who need to continue their journey on a bus leaving from the other side of town.

The biggest changes will be for passengers travelling into the city centre from other parts of Liverpool.

Passengers from St Helens, Knowsley and Halton will be affected to lesser extents, and services from Sefton and Wirral are unaffected.

Services that don’t currently go through the city centre will also not see any changes. The council has said four in five city centre bus users – 82% – will see no change.