Southport’s pressing transport problems to the north and east, which inhibit the town’s development, its economy and its tourist industry are to be debated at the next meeting of Sefton Council.
As someone with a keen interest in transport and railways in particular I am to move a motion for debate which attempts to take forward this pressing problem which, if it is not addressed, will hold back the economy of the town.
My aim is to try to draw people together, of all political beliefs and of none, around a common agenda on a vital subject for the future of Southport.
Southport has an excellent rail connection to the south but a second rate one to the east and north. Indeed, to travel north by train Southport residents first have to get a train to Wigan on a line that is frequently either overcrowded or which offers a poor standard of travel.
But there are highway problems as well for Southport, with the market town of Ormskirk being a huge barrier for road users trying to access Southport.
I have been discussing these issues with the Ormskirk Preston and Southport Travellers Association (OPSTA) and with John Pugh the MP for Southport. We all feel that an initiative from Sefton Borough Council is required to get the ball rolling.
This is a long-term problem that is exacerbated by the arbitrary political boundaries between Merseyside and Lancashire which were drawn up during local government reorganisation in 1974. In many ways, the solutions to Southport’s transport problems lie within Lancashire but West Lancashire is not part of the Liverpool City Region so these artificial boundaries mean that solutions are difficult to achieve.
The bottom line is simple. If these transport issues are not resolved then Southport’s development, its economy and its tourist industry will all be held back – which is in no ones interest.