What happens to Merseyside’s rubbish that can’t be recycled?

All lined up – Merseyside’s waste packed into containers for a ride to the north east.

Well it’s sent to Kirkby (Knowsley Freight Terminal to be precise) where it’s loaded into containers, put on the 2 trains that leave each day and taken to the north east of England to be burned.

The destination is a power station called Wilton which uses the waste to generate electricity. Wikipedia has a page on the power station – look for ‘Wilton 11’ down the page for comment about Merseyside’s waste:-

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilton_power_stations

A double-headed (2 loco) train departs Knowsley Freight Terminal on its way to Wilton Power Station.

Waste-to-energy (WtE) or energy-from-waste (EfW) is the process of generating energy in the form of electricity and/or heat from the primary treatment of waste, or the processing of waste into a fuel source. WtE is a form of energy recovery. Most WtE processes generate electricity.

Landfill is now a very expensive and an environmentally dubious process although it is hugely more regulated than it used to be when rubbish was literally tipped into a hole in the ground with little if any thought as to the consequences of such tipping.

I recall as a child living in Maghull the tipping that was once done on Sefton Meadows during the 1960’s and 1970’s on land north and south of Sefton Lane/Bridges Lane. The southern tipping land is now forested and called Jubilee Woods and as a youngster at Ormonde High School cross country runs took you on a public footpath right through the tipping land – the smells were appalling. That same footpath is still there but walking it now you would never realise what’s under your feet.

Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority set up and negotiated the contract to send Merseyside’s non-recyclable waste to Wilton.

Class 66 diesel locomotives 66040 and 66145 leaving Knowsley Freight Terminal on 24th August 2018 with another trainload of Merseyside’s waste.

Click on any of the photos to enlarge them

The 2nd photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Formby – Locals push Bootle Town Hall bosses all the way in attempt to save steet trees

Formby folk are not ones to take decisions they don’t like or think may be wrong on the chin. And things have been hotting up in the village shopping centre in recent times where more beautiful mature trees are in line to be cut down by big brother Sefton Council in Chapel Lane – trees like this one:-

Formby Parish Council were amongst those leading the charge on behalf of angry local Formby folk and they even engaged their own tree expert to see if a more positive solution to keep and preserve the trees could be found.

I’m an environmental campaigner at heart so it’s probably no surprise to anyone that knows me that I see the cutting down of mature trees as a last resort after all other possibilities have been exhausted, especially trees that have been a part of the local street scene for decades.

As I type this posting it seems that all potentially viable options may indeed have been exhausted and sadly Sefton Council plans to remove the elderly street trees in October with Formby Parish Council providing funds for new trees to be planted.

Here’s a link to a page on Formby Parish Council’s web site about the trees:-

www.formbyparishcouncil.org.uk/index.php/latest-news/75-trees-on-chapel-lane

With thanks to Chris for the lead to this story.

Cycling safely – what are the issues?

Should all cyclists be made, by the law, to wear helmets like car drivers are made to wear seat belts? This link to the BBC web site discusses differing views on this issue:-

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-45312756

My own view is that for adults the jury is out on this question but for children the matter is very clear, they should always wear a helmet. I always wear one, preferably in a bright colour as it helps other road users see you as well as offering some protection in case of an accident or fall. I’ve just bought one with a detachable visor and rear flashing red LED. The visor is great as it means I can keep my specs on and have protection from the sun. Wish I’d bought one like this ages ago; the visor is useful in the rain too.

Why do some cyclists ride on pavements? I try not to do this unless it is to avoid a dangerous junction because the most important thing on the public highway is the pedestrian. Also, I find pavement riding hazardous. Bouncing up and down kerbs at junctions, vehicles and pedestrians exiting driveways obscured by hedges and fences. I know that some cyclists ride on pavements because they fear traffic on the road but to my mind it’s safer on the road for cyclists.

And what about potholes? They are probably the greathest danger to cyclists as avoiding them or indeed hitting them can put you in conflict with traffic. My way of dealing with them is to be looking 20 to 30 yards ahead and to be very wary of puddles as they can hide potholes. Best to cycle more slowly on poor roads or even to avoid such roads as I do with the likes of Bold Lane in Aughton.

And what about cycle paths? Great if they are reasonably well maintained and have logical starting and ending points BUT. One ‘but’ is that many are not well maintained and that encourages cyclists, particularly those who wish to travel at speed, not to use them. This in turn frustrates vehicle drivers who, if they are not cyclists themselves, can’t understand why the cyclist slowing them down is not on the adjacent cycle path. The other ‘but’ is that often cycle paths begin and end in odd or even unsafe places or because they run for just short stretches of routes and cyclists are on and off them like a yo-yo. Coming on and off cycle paths into traffic is dangerous and the UK has great deal more to do to make cycling much safer via the development and extension cycle paths/routes.

An example of poor cycling facilities is the A59 from Ormskirk to Switch Island. You have to get out of Ormskirk well into Aughton before there’s a cycle path and when you reach it there’s both a pavement and cycle path side by side. Trouble is the pavement is well overgrown and the cycle path is rutted. It then gets much better until you reach Robins Island where through Lydiate and Maghull there’s no cycle path/safe cycle route at all until you reach the last half mile coming out of Maghull towards Switch Island. Thankfully Sefton Council has an eye to doing something about this but its not going to happen quickly.

Why don’t some cyclists wear bright clothes all the time and/or use lights in the dark? I really don’t know, maybe they have a death wish or in the case of teenage lads its probably not cool to look safe so they would rather be at risk as their mates approve of that. For goodness sake unless you are nuts put on some bright day-glow clothes; it’s called being safe!

Do car drivers hate cyclists? Well some car drivers hate anything that stops them driving around like a crap Formula 1 driver. But just think who are the most important on the road? – 1 pedestrians, 2 cyclists, 3 buses, 4 everything else!

Why do cyclists run red lights? Because they are trying to get themselves killed? Because it makes them feel cool? Because like many vehicle drivers they are in too much of a hurry? Take your pick but as a cyclist and driver I have no sympathy with cyclists who jump red lights.

Cycle in the gutter you are in my way say angry car drivers? No cyclists don’t cycle in gutters because they are too dangerous! Dropped grids broken kerb stones etc. Most cyclists will cycle a couple of feet away from the kerb.

Why do cyclists take up too much room where the carriageway is narrow? Because if they try to make the passing possibilities greater mad drivers will try to push past them causing danger. I will usually make the gap impossible for a vehicle to pass me where the road is narrow such as at pedestrian refuge islands. Drivers need to pass cyclists with care leaving as much room as possible. I saw a warning sign on the Kirkstone Pass in Cumbria the other day saying drivers need to leave 1.5m of space when they pass a cyclist.

Why do cyclists sometimes cycle in packs side by side? Don’t know really, would never do it on a busy road myself as it causes congestion but I guess some cyclists can be just as inconsiderate as some drivers. Lets be honest inconsiderate drivers who also cycle are probably also inconsiderate cyclists.

I love cycling, I used to cycle miles when I was a young lad living in Rochdale with Nigel Collison. Then as I got older I fell out with cycling and only got back into it in my late 50’s. It’s great exercise and you actually see things rather than speeding past them in a vehicle. Cycling fits with my love of taking photographs too as I can stop pretty much where I want which clearly you can’t do in a car. Oh and its good for the environment and for local journeys much cheaper than using a car.

Go on give it a go, but please cycle safely.

Liverpool 2 – A busier port means yet more traffic on A5036 & a road through Rimrose Valley Country Park!

Seaforth Docks seen from the Mersey with work going on to construct the river berth for Post-Panamax ships in August 2015.

There is every danger that I’ll do this subject to death but the fact remains that building the new river berth at the Port of Liverpool well before the transport infrastructure to cope with the increased freight traffic was put in place was at best a very odd idea.

The Liverpool Echo has the story of the new river berth’s progress towards bringing in more and bigger ships to the port on its web site – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/business/peel-says-more-big-ships-15015748

Rimrose Valley Country Park map.

Highways England announced recently that it intends to construct a brand new road down the Rimrose Valley Country Park to address the increasing port traffic and the opposition to that new road plan is gathering pace via the Rimrose Valley Friends whose web site can be accessed via the link below:-

www.rimrosevalleyfriends.org/

Fracking – You help fight it by joining a local crowdfunding scheme

With fracking a really serious possibility in West Lancashire and more precisely in Altcar Civil Parish, which is all but surrounded on 3 sides by Sefton Borough, those opposed to fracking are trying to raise money to fight the planning application which is expected to be submitted any day now to West Lancs Borough Council. The link below explains and via it you can join the crowd funders who oppose fracking locally:-

www.crowdfunder.co.uk/help-us-to-save-altcar-moss-from-fracking

The Moss Alliance comprises community groups opposed to fracking in West Lancashire and Sefton. To help them oppose Aurora Energy Resources’ planning application for exploratory drilling and fracking at Altcar Moss near Formby they will need to engage expert consultants. Expert advice does not come free so they need to raise a considerable sum so that the consultants can give them the best chance of defeating Aurora’s first prospective frack site.

This is one of the biggest environmental challenges locally so please help if you can.

Maghull – Barn fire off Park Lane

A large wooden barn behind a bungalow off Maghull’s Park Lane was well alight around 4.30pm today.

Merseyside Fire and Rescue were in attendance but I think they were having difficulty with the neatest fire hydrant and were having to run their hoses to one some distance away

I first saw the thick black smoke whilst cycling a couple of miles away in Aughton and realised that the fire must be in Maghull. The smell of burning in Millbank Lane was strong indeed.

Hope all are OK.

Click on the photos to enlarge them