Maghull – Its new North Station – An accessible interchange?

As I have been looking at the layout of the new Maghull North Station two things in particular jump out at me which don’t seem at all right.

Firstly, the vast majority of those approaching the station by foot, on a cycle, pushing a pram, using a disability buggy etc. will do so coming from the direction of Maghull Square yet the access to the new station from this direction is at present via a short flight of steps:-

There’s no alternative to these steps, there’s no dropped kerb and hard standing to School Lane so how are people with disabilities and those arriving on a bike supposed to access the station? The alternative presently is a very long detour along School Lane and then back again via the new Poppy Fields housing estate road.

Could it be that a level/accessible access is still to be provided? I’m wondering if this may be the case because of uncompleted works some 20 or 30 yards away from the steps? See what I mean?:-

Secondly, the bus stops for the new station, on School Lane, are not exactly close to it:-

In the summer maybe the walk to the bus stops is a pleasant one but in winter? Why has it not been possible to create an bus/rail interchange like you see at many stations where both are located right next to each other? This whole area has been designed from scratch so I’m scratching my head about this, I really am.

The new station is great (I use it, indeed I campaigned for it to be built over many, many years) but clearly there are teething troubles which need addressing.

With thanks to the Aintree & Maghull Champion newspaper for making this their lead story in their edition of 1st August 2018

5 thoughts on “Maghull – Its new North Station – An accessible interchange?

  1. Phil Prosser says:

    I’m afraid Tony what you’re suggesting comes under the section marked ‘common sense’! That section became defunct several years ago and has been replaced by a section marked ‘Health and Safety ‘! In this case for example, applying the old ‘common sense’ rule, the bus stop should have been placed 100 yards away, right outside the Maghull North station entrance. However, the new ‘Health and Safety ‘ section has to consider several other factors. Imagine on a dark and wet February night if a bus was stopped in the bus stop right outside the station and a stolen car with a drugged up driver travelling at 50mph came along School Lane from the Maghull direction. As he approached, he might not see the bus because of the railway bridge, and might run into the back of it and hurt himself. That would be against his human rights, and he would quite rightly be awarded damages for injuries sustained, time off work, and the stress and mental anguish of simply not putting the bus stop in a more visible position. Hope that clears up the reason for these decisions.

  2. Anon of Maghull says:

    Tony – my understanding from speaking to some of the people involved in the scheme is that you’re right, that is indeed where the planned level/disabled access is meant to be, however the land is owned by Persimmon Homes who are being fairly unhelpful in terms of getting it sorted/made safe.

    Regarding buses, I suspect the bus companies will not have been keen to drive all the way into the estate to pick-up at the station as this would affect their punctuality, plus I can’t see where they would put the bus stops any closer to the station?

  3. Edie says:

    I got in touch with Merseyrail Tony because it is my friend who is disabled the employee told me as far as she is aware they have very good disabled access however when she got in touch with Irene and she provided pictures and measurements it is 0.4 miles for her to push herself will see what happens next x

  4. Rita says:

    I’m at a loss as to why on Earth they didn’t design Maghull North without steps at all? Surely the station could have been planned appropriately? They had a blank canvas to work with and could have avoided much stress to Residents and Commuters. A simple walk-way over the lines as on Station Road at Maghull Station would have solved many issues without the need for ugly towers at the bottom of Residents gardens.

  5. Bob Jungles says:

    Maghull North station is simply symbolic of how cheap and nasty Britain has become in the 21st century. A country in regression, epitomised by the wholly unnecessary decision to leave the EU.
    Standards (be it development standards, social behavioural standards, housing standards, transport standards), always come from the top down. The very top.
    As the present and recent governments have set the lowest possible standards of governance and leadership possible, we have become a socially and economically weak country.
    Developers pull all the strings (because they are allowed to do so), thus as they are all out for maximum profit and zero social benefit, they are able to get away with delivering the lowest standards imaginable.
    That new estate next to the station is a f*cking mess. It’s utterly disgusting. The developer/council simply don’t care about aesthetic qualities any more. They don’t care for cycling/walking infrastructure. They simply don’t have any standards, and are planners are absolutely toothless. Weak. Limp. Powerless. Basically exist to ensure the most minimum design standards are met. Tick the boxes. Don’t EVER question a developer’s design standards. Why? Because the developer always wins.
    This whole development (the station and the housing estate) should have been designed, planned and managed by Sefton Council. The developers (Persimmons and Merseytravel) should have been key stakeholders (of course), but the whole development should have been 100% controlled by the Planning team (perhaps with assistance of an Urban Design consultancy, if Sefton’s Urban Design team is either non-existent, or not capable enough of carrying out this kind of project on their own).
    Everything is so willy-nilly and slap-dash. Squeeze as many houses as we can in here, and to hell with the station design. Keep the car park as small as possible so we can fit as many houses as humanly possible.
    To hell with architectural design and street layout. Cars will continue to park on kerbs, and as is the case with most new cheap housing estates, it will ALWAYS look half-finished. Skem, anyone?
    Listen, I studied at Urban Planning and Renewal at Masters level. I care passionately about matters like this. I’m no academic nerd, nor am I a corporate cock-sucker. Things are gonna start changing round here in the next few years. You will see.
    Alas, to quote the Wageningen Environmental Research (Alterra) report, entitled, ‘Comparing landscape planning in England, Germany and the Netherlands’:

    “The English land use planning, in our impression, seems to be very approximate / rough in localisation of spatial policy: spatial policy works with ‘guidance’s’ and ‘policy statements’ in words and hardly with maps on regional and interlocal scale….
    In the Netherlands the localisation of for instance ‘new towns’ (concentrations of more than around 500 houses) is much more precise. The Dutch national strategy on ‘urban networks’ gives rather precise locations, which are co-decisions of national and provincial governors….
    Looking at the spatial planning system in England from a ‘continental’ point of view we see a lack of planning strategies on a level in between the (rather big) Region and the (rather small) local authority. We recommend to consider the introduction of a voluntary ‘strategic landscape plan’ on inter-local level.”

    The reason I include this is, is because I studied this shit at Uni. And it’s bloody good shit too (I make no apologies for the coarse language either before you ask). We could all learn a thing or two from learning how things are done in properly ran, logical, EFFICIENT countries.
    What I’m trying to get at here is, the lack of a coherent vision/strategy for this development is glaring. What has been left behind is a mediocre housing estate and a half-arsed station, with one paltry shelter on each platform, overgrown vegetation, and standing water all over the shop (on the platforms, the stairs, the car park, and the wider housing estate itself – flooded roads when the rainfall cranks up).
    Thus, because of the rock-bottom standards applied to the development, and lack of overall vision, this is what we are left with.
    Poor standards breeds poor standards. It’s cyclical. Young people are growing up with poorer standards than the last because of our pathetic planners and politicians. Who can blame developers for capitalising on such weak planning powers, when we live in such a liberal capitalist system? They are the ones laughing all the way to the bank. Why the hell would they care if a crappy little housing estate in Maghull has a fully integrated cycling/walking network, with wide roads and pavements, and a station that is easy to access for everyone – cars, bikes, pedestrians, disabled. Why the detour through the housing estate? It’s as baffling as it is depressing. To think these plans were approved by so many people at so many stages.

    Truly unbelievable, Jeff.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.