Crosby – It’s library looks more than a little the worse for wear sadly

Having been to Crosby Library a number of times recently it has been brought home to me how much it needs a little TLC.

I recall during my 15 years as a Sefton Councillor thinking similar thoughts and maybe I am as much to blame myself for not trying to do something positive to improve things?

The Civic Hall behind the Library has been moldering away for many years now but frankly it too was in very poor internal condition the last time I was in there prior to its mothballing/closure.

The building is certainly a child of its times with that 1960’s look to the architecture that makes it hard to love.

Surely things can’t continue as they are and that at some point Sefton Council will need to give this much needed and busy library a new lease of life?

Maghull – Latest Photos of Maghull North Railway Station

A Merseyrail Ormskirk to Liverpool train rushes past the construction site on 19th February. Seen from the Park Lane overbridge. The new Poppy Fields development is on the left and Mersey Avenue housing is to the right.

Maghull North’s controversial new twin towers (lift shafts) as seen from the School Lane overbridge also on 19th February.This shot reverses the view so Mersey Avenue is to the left and Poppy Fields to the right.

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Liverpool’s lost iconic buildings

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/liverpools-magnificent-seven-buildings-shouldnt-14150689

The Liverpool Echo has the story and some great photos of the lost buildings on its web site – see link above

A fascinating look at some of Liverpool’s lost buildings. I particularly like the look of the former Cotton Exchange building – what a loss that was!

Rimrose Valley Country Park, Labour politics and rail freight (or the lack of it) from Liverpool Docks

Rimrose Valley Country Park

How do these 3 disparate subjects fit together? Quite easily actually.

So the Port of Liverpool is expanding, that’s hardly new news but the consequences of the expansion brings with it quite a lot of bad environmental news.

You see the once well rail connected port is not so well connected to the national railway network these days. There is still one rail link with Seaforth Container Base/Liverpool 2 but just about the only rail freight moved via it are the biomass trains serving Drax Power Station. Containers have not been moved from Seaforth for quite some time now. Here’s a couple of shots of trains waiting to be loaded from the next biomass loaded ship to dock:-

So having established that little freight moves from Seaforth Docks via the national rail network and of course being aware of the expanding docks leads you pretty much to the rather obvious conclusion that the containers are being moved by road. And as the Port expands the big worry is that even more freight will move by road and that’s why Highways England want to build a new access road to the docks down the lovely Rimrose Valley Country Park.

Locals living along side the A5036 road corridor are already sick of the rumbling trucks accessing the Port and the air pollution that goes with their diesel engines. For those unsure about the A5036 it links Switch Island and the M57 and M58 Motorways to the docks.

But putting another road (in effect paralleling the A5036) right through a Country Park is hardly the solution to get locals on board with and unsurprisingly they (Rimrose Valley Friends) have said ‘no way’ and have launched a campaign to try to stop the new road ruining their Country Park. Here’s a couple of shots of their protest placards:-

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-43085594

So an impasse has been reached and at face value the local council – Sefton Borough – is on the right side of the argument (as witnessed via the link above to the BBC web site) as it is backing the environmental campaigners against Highways England. But as with many big infrastructure projects things are not quite how they seem as the inaction of the Council over many years, whilst the the port has been expanding, is in fact one very big reason why the residents living near the Rimrose Valley Country Park and alongside the A5036 are where they are now.

It was obvious to me whilst I was on Sefton Council that Bootle Labour did not want to discuss access to the Port, it seemed to be their Brexit issue if you use the analogy of national Labour today being unwilling to debate the most pressing public policy issue of our present times.

The consequence of this inaction was that the port expanded whilst no one locally really had an eye on how freight was going to access it, no one that is but what was then the Highways Agency and is now Highways England.

But why did Bootle Labour sit back and watch? Probably because they realised the problem was intractable and difficult to solve. Easier to let others come up with solutions and then blast those ideas than to try to help solve the issue by leading the debate. A problem ignored is a problem that comes back, as is happening now, but this admittedly difficult matter should have been addressed a long time ago but Bootle Labour hid behind the sofa.

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Melling – Giddygate Lane – Tree Cover Gone

The clearance of tree cover around Junction 1 of the M58, prior to it being made into a full junction, is complete and it’s changed the landscape completely:-

Looking towards Poppy Fields

Trees to sawdust:-)

Giddygate Lane entrance and of course the fly tippers have visited too

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Ainsdale – Rebuilding of its ‘railway’ station

www.southportvisiter.co.uk/news/completion-date-ainsdale-train-station-14293061

The Southport Visiter has the story on its web site – it’s accessible via the link above

This is a really positive story of progress on Merseyrail which I have been ‘tracking’ (yes I know) for some time now.

Lynne Thompson on I on Ainsdale Station back in 2011.

I was Leader of Sefton Council when Lynne Thompson, now Cllr. Lynne Thompson, was campaigning for the rebuild, that was back in 2011.

Oh yes and have you noticed an ‘Americanism’ creeping into every day use – ‘Train Station’ is a term used in the USA, they have always been railway stations in the UK.

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting