Lydiate – Dog fouling of park surrounding Lydiate Village Centre site

A few weeks ago Lydiate Parish Council took a tough decision that it would very much rather have not made. It closed the open space around Lydiate Village Centre on Lambshear Lane at times the Village Centre itself is not open.

Lydiate Village Centre

The reason? Excessive dog fouling of the grassed area leading to young children being put in conflict with the fouled area. Not surprisingly the move has upset local dog walkers who do clear up after their dogs. As with many anti-social activities it is the actions of the few who care little for our communities that ends up compromising the activities of people who do care, in this case the vast majority of dog walkers.

The Parish Council is looking for a long-term way keeping the open space accessible 24 – 7 whilst being able to control the fouling in a way that does not put playing youngsters at risk.

Southport – John Pugh MP standing down

My good friend John Pugh MP has decided after many years serving the good folk of Southport that the June General Election is the time for him to step down.

I know John has been an excellent MP not least because opposition party members have told me such. And I don’t mean in tribute after hearing he is standing down but before that whilst he has been Southport’s MP.

Dr. John Pugh Lib Dem MP for Southport

John is independently minded but then again that is the test of a good Liberal. Show me a politician who is prepared to be whipped time and time again to vote for things they really can’t abide and I will likely show you someone who is not a Liberal. Remember John stood out against Nick Clegg’s dropping the the Lib Dem pledge to oppose an increase in Tuition Fees, which were originally brought in by Labour when they were in Government. John was right.

On a subject close to my heart, John has been up front in his support for the revitalistion of rail services into and out of Southport to the east and north of the Town. That is an ongoing campaign that has a long way to run and his successor will have to show the same determination to support and promote that cause because the economic future of Southport is very much bound up in such campaigning.

I can’t say that I always agree with John but hey I’m a Liberal too and hope I have a reasonably independent mind too. What I do know is that John is a deep thinker who analyses every matter before him and you can bet that if you challenge him over an issue he can demonstrate a clear thought process that took him to the view that he holds.

I think Southport has had a really exceptional MP in John and they will be big boots indeed for his successor to fill.

Happy retirement from Westminster John but not from the local political scene.

Merseyside’s Gun Crime – Sobering stats April ’16 to April ’17

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/four-dead-more-30-injured-12867251

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link above

Sadly this is a matter I have covered on this blog site many times and things are just not getting any better and you could say they are in fact getting worse.

Does anyone have the answer to the question – ‘How do we get guns of the streets of Merseyside?’

Switch Island – That red Light jumping, why is it at such epic and dangerous proportions?

So why do drivers jump red lights? Is it attention seeking? Is it an alpha male issue? Is it inability to reasonably calculate travelling time? Is is just stupidity and not paying attention to the road? Is it simply being confused by a complicated junction?

Of course it is all of these and other factors too but for some reason the building of Brooms Cross Road and particularly its junction with Switch Island has really brought home to many of us how much red light jumping goes on and the consequences of it.

The Maghull Community Facebook Page records many of the incidents, the Champion newspaper has written on the problem too and a local MP has even raised the matter in Parliament. So it has certainly got our attention and no mistake.

Having campaigned for the new road to be built over a dozen year period or more I must say that I always had at the back of my mind that Switch Island was just going to be too complicated with another road added to it. Indeed, I recall talking to highway engineers about my wish to see a fly-over built connecting the M57 to the new road. I raised this both locally and at regional highway stakeholder events but it was very clear that the money to do this was simply not there.

I’m not going to say I told you so because that would be churlish and anyway the major objective of getting the road built was to try to address the appalling congestion on Lydiate Lane and/Green Lane in Thornton.

Of course red light jumping is not the fault of there being no fly-over but it is the cause of accidents at Switch Island. So you could say I suppose that hot-headed drivers who can’t take congestion red light jump to try to gain an advantage over other road users. In other words put a delay on the highway system and there will always be drivers who will not wait patiently in the queues – we see such behaviors all over our roads of course.

I missed my uncle’s funeral last December because of an horrendous traffic jam on the M6 in the infamous contraflow section where a lorry had broken down. We were sat there for a long long time and yes it is incredibly frustrating when you have an important appointment to make. So does this sort of incident turn those with a short fuse into dangerous drivers? I suppose it does.

But often a Switch Island you can see red light jumpers doing their thing when the road is clear. It’s as though they have no intention of stopping for the traffic lights unless they literally have no choice. It’s like gambling – ‘I can do it’, ‘I can beat that gap’ or ‘well I’m going too fast to stop now so lets go for it’.

Trouble is that the junction’s at Switch Island are big so it takes a few more seconds to cross them than at a normal set of traffic lights. Crossing say 6 lanes worth of road on a red light run is surely far more dangerous than crossing 1 or 2. And the junction of Brooms Cross Road and Brickwall Lane (the only midway junction on the new road) is also a very wide junction and I am seeing red light jumping there too.

It’s also possible that on the odd occasion the red light jumping at Switch Island is also a consequence of it being such a complicated junction – so many sets of lights, so many traffic signs, so much written on the lanes around the junction. Let’s face it first time users would usually be daunted by it and not know which lane to use. Factor in satnavs not giving clearly understandable instructions and it’s a heady brew indeed!

Oh and by the way I saw some chaps doing surveys in the middle of the island yesterday late morning. Could they be the consultants appointed by the Highways Agency?

Ainsdale – The Liverpool Echo’s hardly glowing opinion of New Pontins

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/echo-spent-night-pontins-southport-12867248

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link above

Coincidentally I was out and about in Ainsdale only recently and took a few shots of ‘New Pontins’ from the surrounding sand dunes. Here they are:-

Holiday camps like this do seem to be from a very different era, indeed I recall going to Prestatyn Holiday Camp is a youngster with my Mum and Dad in the mid 1960’s. I found an old video on youtube from 1958. It’s a promotional film for Prestatyn Holiday Camp seemingly aimed at the more middle class holiday maker. A blast from the past indeed. Here it is via the link below:-

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zof_Nk0INEc

The first photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/32923476543/in/dateposted/

Lydiate – It’s 2017 Village Festival is happening soon

www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMOCJXubh5w

With the 2017 Festival only days away now I found this you tube review – see link above – of the 2016 Festival. It’s well worth watching. Cllr. Edie Pope gets in on the act with then Mayor of Maghull.

The 2017 Lydiate Village Festival will be held on Sunday 30th April on The Festival Field, Hall Lane, (Off Southport Road) L31 4HN. Behind Our Lady’s Church.