Electric HGV’s powered by overhead lines – Is it a possible future?

From this to electrically powered HGV’s?

www.flickr.com/photos/mwmbwls/36419388584/in/contacts/

The link above is to a photo together with a short write up on Flickr but it’s really worth looking at as it could just be a possible future without diesel pollution.

Thinking of the air pollution in and around Bootle due to HGV’s accessing the Port of Liverpool (and of course HGV pollution everywhere else too) this must be looked at as a serious alternative to us all being poisoned by traffic pollution.

My friend Bob, who provided the lead to this posting says – I think the point to stress is that this is still experimental and that there would be a host of road management issues to address such as how overtaking would be organised; how to integrate with existing cars and non electric trucks at motorway junctions. There is also a big debate looming about platooning HGVs using anti collision technologies. It may be that dedicated truck ways are the answer – similar to the Leigh busway- although the trough/ dolly wheel steering guidance system could probably be obsolete by then.

The big plus would be if the existing road from the docks was put into a tunnel – electric trucks would be ideal for underground operation.

Photo credit on Flickr link is to Siemens.

Skelmersdale – Putting it back on the railway map?

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/skelmersdale-rail-link-moves-step-13639557

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

I have covered this project previously and whilst I know that some Lancashire folk are highly sceptical of the £300m+ new railway line and Skem station ever being funded this is clearly another, if small, milestone along the right track.

Here’s a shot of the old and now long gone former Skelmersdale Station:-

The old Skelmersdale Station – now long gone in the name of 1950’s/60’s progress!

And here’s a couple of shots taken at Rainford Junction Station (there is no junction now):-

And finally a shot at Kirkby Station (the subject of a future posting of mine) where the present line from Wigan meets head on with Merseyrail’s electric service to/from Liverpool:-

End of the line from Wigan, the Merseyrail service to Liverpool is accessed under the bridge.

NoteThe last trains to Skelmersdale ran on Sunday 4 November 1956 and the station closed to passengers on Monday 5 November 1956. Skelmersdale station remained open for goods services until 4 November 1963 when it was closed completely. Information from Disused Stations UK.

Click on the photos to enlarge them

The last photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-

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

Maghull – Poppy Fields housing development and Maghull North Station

I went to have a look at the new housing development at ‘Poppy Fields’ yesterday. I say Poppy Fields when of course I mean the former Moss Side Hospital site (also known as Ashworth South to some folk) where Maghull’s second railway station is presently being built too.

I arrived there at around 11am. The site was accessible i.e. the gate was open but oddly the sales suite was not despite a notice saying it was on Thursday’s through to Monday’s (don’t they sell houses on Tuesdays and Wednesdays?). I did see a handful of people looking around the site though.

The Ormskirk – Liverpool railway line/new station site is on the left hand edge of this plan.

Another thing I thought was odd concerned the plan of the site stuck to the outside of the sales suite – it did not depict the new station being built at all. Is the new station not a big selling point for the developer?

From what I saw though they do seem to be selling houses with I would guess 50% of the properties that are partially built having sold signs on them.

But I wanted to look at the progress of the railway station too and in what seemed to be a separate locked compound excavations were taking place on the area to be occupied by the station building and car park.

Excavation works where the Station building/station car park will be.

A view of the station site from the School Lane overbridge.

Clearly house building in and around Maghull/Lydiate has been hugely controversial in recent years not least because of the loss of Green Belt and the very highest grades of agricultural land (which grows our food) for the building. But this site was not a part of such controversy, indeed building there was broadly accepted by local environment campaigners as a sensible reuse of a previously partly developed site.

My final thought for now is how much will the new housing on this site meet what I think are the greatest local housing needs – bungalows/single level accessible flats for the elderly, small starter homes for those trying to get onto the housing ladder and of course social housing? I think I know the answer…….

Click on the photos to enlarge them

New Maghull North Station due to open May 2018

Site for the new Maghull North Railway Station. Photo taken looking north from School Lane road bridge. The former Moss Side Hospital site is to the right and Mersey Avenue to the left.

I have been chasing up the latest position with regard to the Maghull’s 2nd railway station and with the help of Merseytravel Committee member John Dodd. I can supply the following information which has been provided to John by Merseytravel.

*****

The contractor for the Maghull North station began the mobilisation stage for the station works on Monday 4 September.

Work has also begun on the de-vegetation of the railway cutting within the existing Network Rail trackside boundary. An ecologist is on site in case there are any particular issues that are found as the staff work their way in to the undergrowth.

Merseytravel will be meeting with Network Rail on Friday [8th September] and will discuss further details of the early stages of the construction works.

Opening of the railway station is still planned for May 2018 when the new summer timetable starts. At this stage it is not intended to rework the Maghull Circulars [buses], some of which provide a service from the existing station and pass the site of the new station.

However there will be further bus service reviews in time to come and the services will be looked at with knowledge of the new station, the Persimmon Homes development currently underway (Poppy Fields) and any proposals for development on the lands east of Maghull.

With thanks to Cllr. John Dodd for the lead to this posting

This photo shows the view from the Park Lane overbridge looking south towards the School Lane overbridge from where the previous photo was taken. The new station will be close to the School Lane bridge.

Rimrose Valley Country Park to have dual carriageway road built through it!

Rimrose Valley Country Park map.

www.rimrosevalleyfriends.org/news/important-statement-road-to-be-built-through-rimrose-valley/

Truly horrifying news for the environment – see link above to the Rimrose Valley Friends web site which has the story as it looks today.

Idyllic view of Rimrose Valley Country Park

Time for Sefton Council to come out from behind its sofa and fight this plan. For too long Sefton has acted as though it was all but disinterested in the matter. Apart from jumping on a band wagon to suggest the new road be put in a tunnel as an alternative to wrecking the Rimrose Valley Country Park, what else has Sefton done?

And here’s a petition to sign if you would be so kind:-

www.change.org/p/secretary-of-state-for-transport-stop-the-dual-carriageway-through-rimrose-valley?utm_medium=email&utm_source=petition_signer_receipt&utm_campaign=triggered&j=124054&sfmc_sub=37791448&l=32_HTML&u=24084311&mid=7233052&jb=231344

Liverpool City Region’s Rights of Way Improvement Plan – Your views wanted by Merseytravel

Footpath off Bridges Lane in Sefton Village

www.merseytravel.gov.uk/about-us/local-transport-delivery/Pages/Public-Rights-of-Way-Strategy.aspx

The link above takes you to the web site of Merseytravel and the consultation documents they would like responses to – please have a look if you like cycling or walking locally off road.

Gate and stile from Butchers Lane in Aughton to Millbank in Maghull.

I sit of the Sefton Rights of Way Group representing Lydiate and Maghull Councils so this is matter of interest to me, I am also a regular walker and cyclist.

My view is that what we need to get across to policy makers throughout the Liverpool City Region is that the development of pedestrian pathways are vital to the health and wellbeing of our communities. In short we need the following:-

* More hard surfaced paths which enable their use by cycles and those with disabilities
* Clearly way marked circular routes suitable for push chairs and wheelchairs
* Cycle routes that connect communities
* A clear programme to deliver such improvements over the life of the next ROWIP within obviously tight resources.

Please join in and let the powers that be know what you think as they work on the Next Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) for Merseyside.