A cyclist’s life can be a trying one!

Cycling is now pretty much mainstream activity for commuting, leisure, fitness etc. and with us staring down the barrel of environmental disaster called climate change it is set to become an activity that the vast majority of us are going to have to engage with because it’s carbon neutral.

But unlike places like Holland our cycle networks are at best poor or absolutely bloody inadequate would probably be a better description. Of course I’ve highlighted such problems on this blog site previously and I’ve also commented on the tussle between vehicle drivers and cyclists too. On this latter subject just try to get your head around this:-

twitter.com/buejcoll/status/1125118323048505345

Frankly the ‘accident’ looks more like premeditated attempted murder to me and how the cyclist survived is close to miraculous. One can only hope the car driver is permanently off the road.

Bad drivers make bad cyclists in my experience, if they jump red lights when driving they are highly likely to do the same when riding. I know some drivers get upset with cyclists because they slow them down, some will even overtake cyclists far too closely and dangerously in frustration. They curse the cyclist when often they are actually the problem but as I say a poor cyclist is probably a poor driver too.

And returning to safe cycle routes, there’s one on Gorsey Lane in Netherton and here’s a photo of it together with a misleading sign:-

I’m actually stood with my bike at what seems to be the end of the Bus/Taxi/cycle lane but in reality the cycle lane continues as part of a widened shared pavement space with pedestrians, so why does the sign say end of cycle route Sefton Council?

Thanks to CJ for the lead to this posting.

Stop Press:- Only 30 minutes after posting this I was out on my bike (8.50am) and at the junction of Liverpool Road North and Granville Ave in Maghull a white van all but knocked me off the road! The driver overtook me on the junction and then pulled in half on the pavement right in front of me. How I managed to stop I don’t know. When I questioned him his response was to tell me to ‘get off the road’. I realised things could get out of hand so left it to return to the row of shops he seemed to be delivering to later. Sadly, having called at all the shops in the row (10am) I’ve not been able to identify his company. If only I’d got his registration number, this was clearly a dangerous driving Police matter in my opinion but he’s got away with it.

The curse of scrambler bikes

I was contacted the other day by a local resident who had taken photos of scrambler bikes on the Leeds Liverpool Canal tow path in Melling asking for my advice about what can be done to stop them. Yesterday, whilst out cycling through Rimrose Valley Country Park, I ended up with one blowing his horn at me whilst trying to race past. Obviously neither the canal tow path or Rimrose Valley’s network of footpaths and cycle paths are places for motorbikes to be ridden!

But where are these bikes kept? Surely they are often in the garages of houses where the scrambler bikers live with their families. On that basis their illegal activities are in effect being condoned by families who should know a lot better.

Merseyside Police do their best and it’s always pleasing to hear of these bikes ending up in the crusher but the riders cause mayhem on our canal towpath, country parks, in woods and on roads where we are all at risk from their mad riding.

You might guess that the one I encountered yesterday had no registration plate on it and it was gone so fast I had no chance to get a proper look at it.

Downholland – Rimmer’s Bridge Damage Update

Following my posting of yesterday about the criminal damage to the bridge the latest news is that the bridge can be opened manually and it was today at 12 noon to let a large number of queuing boats through.

The top photo shows boats waiting to travel through to Liverpool, whilst the lower one is of boats waiting to travel north toward Scarisbrick marina etc.

My understanding is that the bridge will be manually opened each Monday and Friday. I’m not aware of the detail of the openings but I’m sure boat owners will be getting up to speed via the Canal and River Trust.

Downholland – The strange Rimmer’s Bridge destruction event

This is the base of the bridge control cabinet which was completely destroyed in the incident.

As bizarre criminal events go this is one of the oddest I have come across in a long time. Here’s the take on it from Ormskirk Live:-

ormskirklive.com/2019/04/24/police-appeal-to-info-after-major-damage-to-canal/

And here’s the matter as on Ormskirk Police Facebook Page:-

Looking north from Rimmer’s Bridge.

The obvious question is why go to so much trouble to cause so much damage to a canal swing bridge out in rural West Lancashire? The bridge is accessed via Eagar Lane Lydiate or Green’s Lane Downholland and I cycle over it regularly, indeed I took the photos in this posting on Sunday 28th April whilst out riding.

Was it a planned and deliberate act to stop the bridge from being opened for boats, narrow boats and barges on the Leeds Liverpool Canal? If so why? Someone with a grudge against the Canal & River Trust or is there some alternative reason for this very costly destruction?

As I say one of the most bizarre criminal incidents that I can recall. I guess it’s going to be a real eye opener when the culprits are caught and taken to court.

Ainsdale – When is a Police Station/Hub not one?

Ainsdale Station during rebuilding – October 2017

I’ve posted before about the rebuilding of Ainsdale Station on the Liverpool – Southport Northern Line of Merseyrail. My most relevant blog about it is accessible via the link below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/08/04/ainsdale-railway-station-its-going-to-have-a-police-station-on-its-platform-like-town-green-station/

And a quick reminder of the Southport Visitor newspaper story of 2nd August 2017:-

www.southportvisiter.co.uk/news/southport-west-lancs/ainsdale-getting-new-police-station-13422778?utm_source=sharebar&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=sharebar

Now if I told you that it seems the Police Hub is hardly, if at all, in use still in April 2019 you may be a little surprised based on on previous publicity. Who’s got the key? Is there any internet available? When will the girls and boys in blue be using it I wonder?

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Council Tax – How many more political mouths will want feeding on Merseyside?

I recently raised the issue of our Metro Mayor wanting you to dig deeper into your pockets to pay for his staff, wages and office running costs but of course we also have a Police and Crime Commissioner too and guess what they want you to dig deeper as well! Here’s a link to my post regarding the Metro Mayor’s grab for your pocket:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2019/01/20/metro-mayor-tax-another-call-on-your-pocket/

As for the Police and Crime Commissioner here’s what they are demanding in the next Council tax year beginning April 2019:-

My point is that I am very far from convinced that we need a Police and Crime Commissioner and the jury is certainly out over the Metro Mayor post because the 3rd rate devolved powers to the Merseyside Mayor make it hard to justify the cost of having one.

Bizarrely, both posts are the creation of the Conservatives who used to claim they wanted to keep the rates/Council tax down!

Whilst I was never a member of if it, in my time as a Borough Councillor or Council leader, my impression was that the former Police Committee made up of councillors from across Merseyside worked well and it was one of those things that was not broken and did not need fixing. But the Tories knew best and had been taken in by the American way of running Council areas with elected Mayors and Police and Crime Commissioners. Why they didn’t go the whole hog and call the P&CC’s Police Chiefs and give them a fancy uniform I don’t know.

But hey you get the grand positions and then surprise, surprise they want paying, they want to hire staff and they need premises to operate from. Seems the Tories have simply added folks to the public payroll and frankly what do we have to show for our generous ‘donations’ to either cause?

And before you ask, no I’m not saying that we all don’t have to chip in to run local services, it’s just that I don’t believe adding more glorified posts to the local payroll is the way to do it.

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Click on the chart above to enlarge it