Cycling and crossing Maghull’s ‘Berlin Wall’

The new (ish) cyclist unfriendly Alt Junction in Maghull

Maghull is very flat so you’d expect it to be perfect to cycle around and yet the busy A59/Northway cuts Maghull in half. I’ve always said it’s akin to the Town’s own Berlin Wall when it comes to cycling and even to some extent walking. I have of course blogged about this matter many times before and called upon Sefton Council to improve the lot of cyclists wanting to cross and cycle safely along Maghull’s great divide. Here’s a link to a previous posting of mine on this matter:-

I was and for that matter still am unimpressed with the new(ish) Alt junction as, in my opinion, it’s not cyclist-friendly. Expecting cyclists to dismount and then follow the same circuitous route that pedestrians have been landed with at this junction is not encouraging folks to leave their cars behind, in fact, it probably has just the opposite effect!

So, why do I return to this subject now? Well, improvements are afoot as shared-space cycle/pedestrian routes are being constructed on either side of the A59 between the Town Hall/Hall Lane and Damfield Lane junctions. The Damfield Lane/A59 junction, which has a poor accident record, is also being turned into a traffic-lighted one.

So the lot of cyclists is being improved although clearly, an A59 safe cycle route needs to pass through all of Maghull and indeed Lydiate to reach the cycle tracks along the A59 to the north of Robins Island in West Lancs. But don’t be churlish Robertson progress is being made which should be welcomed, and I do indeed welcome the progress.

Here are some shots of the work presently being undertaken at Damfield Lane and along the A59 to the Hall Lane junction:-

Looking towards the Town Hall/Hall Lane junction with the new and widened shared space path.

Elevated view of new Damfield Lane junction layout.

Damfield Lane junction looking north

It will be interesting to see how cyclist-friendly the Damfield Lane junction is when works are completed because from my perspective cyclists should not have to dismount to travel through a junction as seems to be the highway engineer’s want at the Alt junction. Junctions should be designed so that cyclists can go through them safely whilst pedalling not via having to walk.

I’m sure there’ll be much more to comment on as our presently very limited local cycling network is painfully slowly expanded.

2 thoughts on “Cycling and crossing Maghull’s ‘Berlin Wall’

  1. CJ says:

    Hmm. So finally something’s being done about that junction. Does this also mean that horrible green bridge is going to come down too?
    From what I can see from the photos, this scheme looks very symptomatic of the current status quo of road engineering in the UK. Nothing progressive to see here.
    Look at the desire lines. Crossings are all about desire lines! If you can’t get your desire lines right, you’re failing the pedestrian. It would appear you have to snake your way round each crossing point, and I’m very sceptical how long the pedestrian will have to wait for before the Green Man comes on.
    Often, the higher the speed limit and traffic volume, the longer you have to wait to cross. The one in Burscough Town Centre is a disgrace.
    In terms of cycling up to Aughton, I’m sorry but resurfaced/widened footways simply won’t cut the mustard. They are merely pavements that now permit cycle use. There are no other gains to be made as a cyclist apart from having a smoother surface to ride on.
    I’m also guessing this work has been paid for in leiu of the soon-to-be-developed housing estate in north Maghull. I have no reason to believe the Council has any other motivation or pot of money to finance this sort of scheme.

    “Junctions should be designed so that cyclists can go through them safely whilst pedalling not via having to walk” – absolutely agree.

    We need to keep pushing and pushing for better walking/cycling infrastructure, because the demand is there! Don’t let anyone fool you when they say no-one wants to cycle, or “you never see anyone in the cycle lanes”. Never fall for it!

    • I have the same concerns about the new Damfield Ln junction as based on the Alt one just down the road the very issue you raise will be a problem i.e. pedestrians being treated as 2nd class citizens.

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