Class 66 Diesel Locos at Seaforth Container Terminal
I’ve been amused by all the chatter about the potential for government to stop HS2 in its tracks when the reality was they were never going to do that.
Yes I know, they held a review of it and made a lot of noise about cost but that was to keep the issue off the political agenda surrounding the General Election. The Tories wanted to be seen to have a foot in the camp of those who oppose HS2. You could say it was cynical political manipulation as that’s what I call it.
HS2 and the associated new line from Liverpool across the north are vital if we want decent passenger and freight carrying railways with capacity because there’s precious little capacity left in the present rail network.
Take Liverpool and it’s expanding port. One of the big issues is that there’s no capacity to get freight to and from that port and it’s because of pretty much the same reason that passenger services east of Liverpool are in a mess. There’s no capacity for the number of trains needed to be run, simple as that.
So do I celebrate High Speed Rail and the associated east west line across the north? Yes I do because it’s a common sense decision that had to be made. My only reservation in this daft process was that government may still be in Brexit mode i.e. doing things without taking account of facts, but maybe they’ve got enough of promoting fantasy land on their plate for now so they gave in to the experts who they studiously ignored over Brexit.
Now we need investment in other lines in the north such as:-
* Ormskirk – Preston:- just hand it over to Merseyrail so they can run trains right through to Preston
* Southport – Wigan- Manchester:- Get it back to being a decent reliable service as it was until the 1960’s
* Burscough Curves:- Reinstate them so there can be trains between Southport and Preston and Ormskirk and Southport
The Burscough Curves are in West Lancashire. This historic shot of them is from when they were in place, in 1960’s.
This innocuous wooden box (you can see the side of it above) which I’m guessing was made to store a form of fishcakes, started life in the early 1960’s or even 1950’s. I know where it was sourced from and what it’s been used for through two generations of my family; my Dad and me that is.
It came from The Fish Shop on The Hill in Kirkby-in-Ashfield and if memory serves the shop was run by a Jean Parks or Parkes who was a friend of my Mother Sheila Robertson (nee Calladine). I recall being taken into the shop as a very young lad in the early 1960’s as we lived close to The Hill in Orchard Road.
It’s been used firstly by my Dad (George Robertson) and since by me for storing bits and bobs in; things that men seem to collect which we think will come in useful one day so to speak.
My Dad kept screws, nails and bolts in it whereas I, in tune with modern day living, keep phone chargers and cables in it.
It may be just an old wooden box but there’s some family and Kirkby-In-Ashfield history in it for me, which I often think of when use it.
We left Kirkby in 1964 when I was but 6 years old.
Me in my cycling gear
The BBC has the article on its website – see link below
This is genuinely interesting but the biggest problem faced by cyclists is vehicles overtaking them too close. The cycling fraternity is presently lobbying government to have the next edition of the Highway Code* amended so instead of it saying ‘leave as much room as possible’ or words to that effect it becomes something like ‘leave 1.5m where possible when overtaking a cyclist’. I’ve blogged about this previously and here’s a link to that posting:-
My point being that if this jacket could indicate the 1.5m to vehicles approaching a cyclist from behind it would be of great help. Just a road safety thought.
* Rule 163 of the Highway Code states that when passing cyclists, drivers should give “as much room as you would when overtaking a car”. Cycling UK is calling for the code to include guidance on a minimum distance to give when overtaking, suggesting a minimum of 1.5m when travelling under 30mph and 2m over 30mph.
The BBC has the article on its website – see link below:-
I’m grateful to Keith Page for bringing this to my attention not least because I’ve just finished re-reading Bill Bryson’s wonderful book Notes from a Small Island.
‘And so, soon afterwards, I found myself, like all fresh arrivals in Liverpool, in the grand and splendourous surroundings of the Philharmonic, clutching a pint glass and rubbing shoulders with a happy Friday-evening throng.’
Bootle New Strand shopping centre
I’ve blogged about the hugely controversial purchase of the Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle by Sefton Council in 2018 previously. I’ve also questioned the role of our local Borough Council dabbling in the oh so volatile property market. Click on the article below, from Hannah Gee, for more detail:-
Sadly my fears, based on the valuation mentioned above, make this highly questionable purchase look like the poor deal for council tax payers of the Borough that I thought it could well turn out to be.
Bootle Town Hall
The Liverpool Echo has the article on its website – see link below:-
How ever you look at it this situation is one where it’s an every which way but lose scenario for cash strapped Sefton Council and it’s Labour rulers.
Joe and Jane public will be horrified, especially as their ever increasing council tax bills will be landing on Sefton doorsteps very soon.
Cllr Leo Evans (Lib Dem) says that only his group of councillors voted against this at the last full council meeting.