M58/Melling – Ashworth Junction works start

Well it seems that works have finally started to make this junction a full one. This was the scene this morning 28th May as set up works were commencing:-

My old friend and former Sudell ward Sefton Councillor (and former Mayor of the Borough of Sefton) Cliff Mainey started the fight to get this junction made into a full one quite some years ago; early 2000’s if memory serves.

3 thoughts on “M58/Melling – Ashworth Junction works start

  1. Bob Jungels says:

    “Cliff Mainey started the fight to get this junction made into a full one quite some years ago; early 2000’s if memory serves.”

    Of course he would. Because road building is the solution to every single one of our transport problems isn’t it?

    Now I don’t Mr Mainey, but I’m guessing – and only guessing – that he never once campaigned to reopen the old North Mersey Branch Line, nor did he campaign to see one cycling/walking project develop during his tenure.
    I’d love to be proven wrong. But why would I have any reason to think any differently?

    Because of course, this junction has been built to facilitate the hideous new housing estate being built off Park Lane. Knock em up. Cheap and (not so) cheerful. So yet again, the answer to an increase in local population as the result of a new housing development is to build yet more highway infrastructure. And yet there’s Metro Mayor Steve coming back and saying they don’t have any money to spend on a sodding shelter at the new train station!

    (Just for the record you should visit the station at peak time in the pouring rain and see if you can find a space in the one paltry platform shelter…)

    • In fact Cliff has always been an environmentalist, he’s a big countryside walker. When he started the campaign to get the Ashworth junction of the M58 made into a full junction it was nothing what so ever to do with the now approved vast urban extension to the east of Maghull. In fact back in 1998 Cliff together with the other then members of Maghull Town Council successfully saw off a very similar plan to build on the very same site. This time around the Town Council sat on their hands and in effect let Sefton Borough have its way in building on vast acres of high grade agricultural land which presently grows our food. No, when Cliff started the campaign it was to do with trying to get traffic off Maghull’s roads and onto the motorway.

      • Bob Jungels says:

        Thanks for that, Tony. Genuinely!
        But again, my bigger point here was about the local transport system, holistically speaking. On the strategic level.
        When you weigh up the cost to build this new junction and then consider the social and economic importance of reinstating the NMB and the Burscough Curves, at the sub-regional level of Sefton and West Lancs (and Liverpool) it is a complete folly to throw your money at this scheme.
        Yes the scheme is no doubt being paid for by Highways England, but this isn’t the point.
        One transport body controlling all the purse strings for our whole transport network would weigh up these schemes, and if road-building wasn’t your over-riding priority, this scheme would fall way down the pecking order when on the same list as the NMB and the BC.
        This is my point.
        All about priorities. And this junction shouldn’t have been a priority.
        Road building should be the absolute last resort. The final offer on the table when all other solutions have been exhausted.
        Instead it always takes precedence. Always.
        And that isn’t just lazy transport planning, it’s lazy national strategic planning, and it filters all the way down to the people on the ground who pay their taxes and rail fares, but get a Third World service in return.
        But then of course, most motorists don’t care, because the road system favours them.
        It’s a double edged sword. Like taking a dummy from a baby’s mouth.
        People need their cars because the alternatives are so inadequate, but even if we provide great alternatives, it will be difficult to take the dummy from the mouth of the motorist, who has become so addicted to his/her car usage, they will resist change.
        And this is what happens when you keep building roads, decade after decade after decade. Effectively beating people into submission, so they have no alternative.
        The reverse is true in Holland where five decades of relentless road/street re-designing has created a transport network that benefits everyone.
        Anyone can move about entirely how they wish. To ride, to walk, to drive, to bus, to train, to tram. This is how their system works, and it works for everyone. No one is left behind. No one is reliant on the car.
        Then factor in the air quality benefits, the overall environmental benefits (quieter streets), the health benefits, the safety benefits, the financial benefits (less trips to petrol stations, lower train/bus fares), all of a sudden you have the bones of a (dare I say it) *fair and cohesive* society. People and places first. Cars and economics second.

        And that’s why I believe this junction is merely a symptom of a broken political and economic system. We just more people in power to recognise this, address it, and take responsibility for it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *