Downholland – Eagar Lane/Greens Lane resurfacing outside Lavender Barns

Back in August 2019 I called on Lancashire County Council to resurface the stretch of Eagar Lane/Greens Lane outside Lavender Barns just yards into Lancashire from Lydiate, and I blogged about the state of the lane – see link below:-

If I recall correctly that prompted more patch repairs but the message must have got home to LCC (maybe others raised the matter with them too?) as a couple of days ago they did a significant resurfacing job:-

Editor’s note – ‘Thanks for that LCC, much appreciated, but sadly there’s another very poor stretch of Greens Lane which has deteriorated significantly of recent months. It’s around the entrance to the 2nd fishery, past Green’s House and near to the row of houses further into Downholland Civil Parish. I’ll pop a note on your website about it.’

Melling – Prescot Road bus shelter – What on earth’s going on?

Whilst I was away on holiday last week a Melling resident contacted me regarding the removal of what looks to me and indeed the resident like a perfectly good and substantial bus shelter yards away from the Pear Tree Pub. This is it:-

The poster advertising the potential removal is on the bus stop sign and this is what it says:-

I took the photos today when I went to have a look at the shelter. Apart from perhaps a bit of pointing the sandstone built shelter is in excellent condition and it’s one of a number of similar shelters erected around Melling Civil Parish by Melling Parish Council quite some years ago. Indeed, I’ve blogged about the shelters a while back (January 2018) and here’s a link to that posting:-

After I penned that posting I realised I missed out a 4th one, also on Prescot Road, i.e. the one now under threat of replacement.

So, why do the powers that be want to exchange it for a modern shelter? What’s wrong with the historic one? Are they going to try to get rid of all of Melling’s sandstone shelters? Is the construction of a cycle path alongside this incredibly busy road a factor in the proposal?

But really, there’s nothing at all wrong with the shelter at face value, so how about just keeping it and the other ones too – just in case someone somewhere has the eye on them as well for ‘modernisation’.

Liverpool’s famous cycle makers – Liverpool on Wheels exhibition

Regular readers of this blog site will know that I’m a keen cyclist, so it’s probably no surprise that I found the cycling part of the new Liverpool on Wheels exhibition in the Museum of Liverpool very interesting. Here’s my photos of cycling items on display

The comment above could easily have been written today, particularly about Lancashire and Liverpool roads!

I recall when I was a teenager I bought a Harry Quinn racing cycle second hand but whilst it was a lovely bike (and incredibly light) I went off cycling for some reason and sold it on…..

This has been my 4th posting about the excellent Liverpool on Wheels exhibition curated by NML’s Land Transport Curator Sharon Brown.

Tyne & Wear Metro V Merseyrail

A holiday in the lovely town of Tynemouth last week gave me the chance to check out Tyne & Wear Metro. This is what I made of it in comparison to my local rail network Merseyrail:-

Merseyrail Class 508 EMU at Maghull Station

T&W Metrocars at Whitley Bay Station

In some ways these two rail commuter systems are similar but in others they are quite different.

They both serve large northern metropolitan areas – Tyne and Wear & Merseyside respectively – plus they both like painting their trains and stations yellow, grey and black. What’s more both are about to gain new (Stadler) rolling stock – Merseyrail before Tyne & Wear.

The differences as I saw them:-

* Merseyrail has staff at virtually every station – T&W Metro seems to be a predominately a staff-less system. Certainly I didn’t see staff on the 4 journeys that I made on their trains and you buy tickets from machines like this one at Tynemouth Station:-

* With no staff around T&W Metro feels less secure to travel on than Merseytravel. This performance poster (seen at Cullercoats Station) is interesting – look at the staff availability (only 5.9 out of 10) and Ticketing (5.8 out of 10), although to be fair their security rating is a higher 7.1 out of 10:-

* T&W Metro has a big graffiti problem as mile after mile of lineside walls are covered in it – Merseyrail generally is graffiti-free – probably shouldn’t have said that!

* The old T&W Metro EMU’s are quite basic and look their age (although they were refurbished between 2010 and 2015 by Wabtec Rail at Doncaster) whereas the Merseyrail EMU’s have been refurbished a couple of times and look modern especially on the inside.

* As a non-local I found T&W’s major station – Monument – hard to navigate especially for trains on the circular route north of the Tyne. It would have been nice to have had a member of staff to interact with as Merseyrail always has at it’s hub station – Central. I had to ask fellow passengers for advice on which train to get to Tynemouth Station.

* Merseyrail is of course 3rd rail power pick up whereas T&W Metro is overhead line.

* T&W Metro is light rail – Merseyrail is heavy rail. The present T&W stock are called Metrocars. They are a fleet of light rail vehicles manufactured by Metro-Cammell. For operation on Network Rail controlled tracks (between Pelaw Junction and Sunderland) they are designated on TOPS as Class 994. Merseyrail’s Class 507 & 508 EMU’s are British Rail built.

T&W Metro’s Tynemouth Station is a delight in its careful and spot on refurbishment *.

Manors is an underground Station which reminded me a little of Merseyrail’s Moorfields Station.

I enjoyed riding T&W Metro but I think that Merseyrail has the edge on it especially with regard to staffing, security and ticketing. Here’s a link to the new trains that T&W Metro will be getting:-

And a local newspaper article about the temporary depot being constructed as the change over of trains to Stadler starts to take shape:-

My thanks to Wikipedia for some facts used above

Click on the photos and newspaper article to enlarge them

* This photo of Tynemouth Station is amongst my Flickr photos at:-

Merseyside’s non-recyclable waste an update

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

I posted back in September 2018 about how Merseyside’s non-recyclable waste is moved to the north east of England to be used as fuel in Wilton Power Station. See link below:-

Since I penned my original posing I’ve come across an excellent video on You Tube by Don Coffey showing detail of the railway movements. If you skip to 2h & 10mins for the section from Rainford Junction to Knowsley you can watch the Merseyside/local part of the route.

Excellent video Don, thanks for sharing.

Ford Escort MK1 – Museum of Liverpool exhibit made me think back!

I’ve blogged on this subject before – here’s my previous posting from 2018:-

This has been my 3rd posting on the excellent Museum of Liverpool exhibition – Liverpool on Wheels – curated by Land Transport Curator Sharon Brown. If you can go have a gander at it, I think you’ll agree it’s excellent

Click on the photos to enlarge them