Merseyrail – It’s 40 years since Liverpool’s underground was completed

Who would have thought it was 40 or more years since we lost Exchange Station and indeed the overground Central Station in Liverpool for them to be replaced with new underground stations. Not forgetting of course that Liverpool had been blessed with an underground railway from the Wirral for many years prior to that – The Mersey Railway.

An old Mersey Railway tinplate sign which is on display at the National Railway Museum in York

And here’s what the new underground network looked like when completed in 1977. The Northern Line (Blue) was subsequently extended from Garston to a new terminus at Hunts Cross.

Click on the photo’s/graphics to enlarge them

Birkdale – It’s tramway into Southport – An historic photo

Whilst at the Merseyside Transport Trust Open Day on 9th July I came across and purchased this photo of a horse drawn tram in Birkdale:-

Is this shot taken on Cemetery Road, Southport? Can it be dated by anyone?

Click on the scanned photo to enlarge it

The photo is also amongst my Flickr photos at:-

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

Here are links to my previous postings about Southport’s long-gone trams:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/01/12/southports-tramways/

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/02/24/more-on-southports-trams-with-a-wallasey-twist/

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/05/14/sefton-the-only-tramway-in-the-borough-southport-pier-tram/

Sadly since my May 2014 posting about Southport’s Pier Tram it has also ceased to run and been disposed of. I understand this was said to be the result of it being too heavy for the aging pier.

BTW – Are the 3 chaps in the photo my old friends and Birkdale Ward Councillors, Richard Hands, Simon Shaw and Iain Brodie Brown?:-)))

Emergency Services – Austerity causes innovative and welcome/unwelcome thinking

We are all sick and tired of austerity which has in effect been inflicted upon us as a consequence ‘casino banking’ and the subsequent financial crash. And yes it has caused great harm to the public services we all rely on.

But one, maybe the only positive consequence is that public services which for years have operated in glorious isolation from each other have had to look at innovative solutions to service delivery. Basing ambulances in fire stations or other similar solutions that bring together sometimes all 3 emergency services under one roof is an example.

Having said that the principle is good I was personally not supportive of the local solution which put ambulances, once based in Lydiate, in a fire station in Netherton. I wanted the Lydiate Ambulance Station and Maghull Police station merged onto the Maghull Police Station site but sadly no one was listening and the joined up thinking was not joined up as the Police were separately (and seemingly in glorious isolation) planning to shut down Maghull Police Station and sell off the land…….

But another innovative solution to service delivery is just up the road from my Lydiate home in neighbouring Aughton where the local Police Station is actually on Town Green Railway Station’s Liverpool bound platform. See photo below:-

As for Maghull the Police Station, we are told, it is going to occupy space within Maghull Town Hall. This may well have been a welcome and innovative solution if it had not meant the loss of the Town’s only surviving publicly funded youth facility. Plus that facility also doubled up to house the Town’s CAB but that has also now gone and a joint community the size of Maghull/Lydiate now sadly has no CAB.

So readers will understand why I am not at all happy with Maghull/Lydiate’s rather unwelcome public service delivery ‘solutions’. When the move of the Police Station to Maghull Town Hall will actually happen we don’t presently know as all has gone quiet on the matter.

Liverpool City Region – Mayoral dust-up

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/tensions-rising-between-liverpool-mayor-13224506

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

It seems to have been rather obvious for a while now that Anderson and Rotherham have a problem with each other; one is the elected Mayor of Liverpool the other the elected Mayor of Merseyside. The other obvious question is why because they both come from the same political party – Labour.

It strikes me that the mayoral quarreling, as described by the Liverpool Echo article, is not going to be in the interests of Merseyside and the Liverpool City Region.

If they were from differing political parties you could almost understand it and you would expect some friction but they are not.

Do we need an elected referee now?

Guide Dogs/Hearing Dogs and Taxis

I have a partially sighted friend who uses a guide dog, although he is presently awaiting a new dog as his previous one sadly died not so long ago. Phil Marshall is his name and he lives in Maghull.

I raise this subject because Phil raised it with me whilst we were having a pint in the Derby Arms in Aughton. Phil had been contacted by Guide Dogs for the Blind recently asking him to lobby his local councillors about the problem of a small minority of taxi drivers who refuse to have a guide dogs in their vehicle.

Yes I know, it sounds almost beyond belief that a taxi driver could refuse a blind, partially sighted or deaf person a ride because they have a guide/hearing dog with them but I am told that it does happen.

www.guidedogs.org.uk/supportus/campaigns/access-all-areas/faq#.WTLg_Ma1vv8

The link above is to the Guide Dogs for the Blind web site which addresses this very issue. Locally Sefton Borough Council is the licensing authority for taxis.

I hope by sharing this issue I can help to try to put a stop to taxi refusals for blind/deaf people travelling with their dogs.

Maghull – That overgrown pedestrian bridge over Northway at the Hall Lane junction

I posted about this on 1st June. Here’s the post for reference:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/06/01/maghull-pedestrian-bridge-receives-camouflage-make-over/

Well I got a reply to my complaint about the bridge from Sefton Council but it was not the reply I expecting! This is what it said:-

‘Thank you for your email. Unfortunately Sefton only cut the grass verges and hedges we do not maintain the trees at the below location (see attached maintained area)

It may be best to speak to Maghull Town Council.’

Since when did Maghull Town Council have responsibility for this pedestrian bridge across Northway? It certainly did not when I was a Sefton Borough and Maghull Town Town Councillor up to 2015. Below is the map Sefton sent me showing the areas around the bridge where Sefton Council maintains hedges and grass verges:-

Well the trees that are overgrowing the bridge are growing on the land that Sefton Council maintains so I have pointed this out to them.

I await a more helpful response.

This is what it looked like today:-