Thousands of pounds of taxpayer money were spent on a car-free day in Liverpool which saw one of the city centre’s major routes closed - before being abandoned just hours later.
Almost 12 months ago large parts of the Strand were shut down to encourage people to leave their cars and find alternative ways to travel.
Liverpool Council planned to close the road for six hours with a variety of activities on offer to promote alternatives.
However, amid complaints and bad weather the project on the waterfront road - from Chapel Street to James Street - was closed after a few hours.
Liverpool Council planned to close the road for six hours with a variety of activities on offer to promote active travel alternatives
Now, data released under the Freedom of Information Act has revealed that the scheme used a total of £37,361 of local authority money to close the roads last September.
Almost £9,000 was used for traffic management, with an another £4,800 needed for stewarding.
Problems sparked last year with large queues of traffic building up around the city centre, while images and video of the long tailbacks were posted on social media.
Cllr Dan Barrington, cabinet member for climate change and environment, told a select committee that he acknowledged the scheme was going to be “controversial” and communication of the plans could have been better.
As part of the project, a further £2,074 was spent on staff costs for the road closure and £258 went towards printing.
The event was criticised and branded on social media as “a disaster”.
Cllr Liam Robinson, leader of Liverpool Council, told the Liverpool Echo: "A lot of lessons have been learnt and we fully appreciate something that was done with the right intent didn’t work out well.
"Partly the weather didn’t help but we can’t blame the weather alone and I’m not seeking to do that.
The event was criticised and branded on social media as 'a disaster'
"From our perspective we know there’s a lot we can learn for this year’s car free day and future car free activities. One of the things we’re very conscious of is we don’t just want to do appropriate car free activities solely on car free day."
Cllr Carl Cashman, leader of the opposition Liberal Democrats group added: “It is shocking but not unexpected that the council has wasted £37,000 on a botched car free day.
“This is another item on the list of waste from this council. I fully understand the need to reduce the city’s carbon footprint, particularly with how poor our air quality is.
“However, initiatives such as the car free day need to be done the right way and this hasn’t happened. What we saw last year was chaos and congestion, which probably led to a worse outcome for the local environment."