Transport For the North (TFN) make bold statements on rail but will anything much actually happen?

A Northern Class 158 DMU at York Station

The article is on Transport for the North’s web site – see link below:-

transportforthenorth.com/transport-north-board-takes-decisive-action-future-norths-railways/

A Transpennie Express Class 185 DMU leaving Liverpool Lime Street Station

And why do I continue to hold a skeptical line? Keolis have recently announced that the Liverpool – Chester via Frodsham service, due to start in December, will not now appear until May 2019. This is due, I understand, to “rolling stock availability issues”. Keolis take over the franchise from Arriva Trains Wales (which will run this new service) next month.

With thanks to OPSTA for the lead to this posting

Aughton – Empty shop unit at Town Green – Surely a coffee shop opportunity?

The shop unit above, which is next to Town Green Station, has been empty for some months now ever since the previous occupant (Spar) closed down.

I regularly cycle this part of the world and usually stop at the small parade of shops. This empty unit has made me ponder, bearing in mind we are taking of an affluent area which I have heard referred to (obviously jokingly) as Ormskirk’s stock broker belt. And the ponder? Why has it remained empty for the past 6 months or more?

My first thought when the Spar shop closed was that within a very short time it would probably become a coffee shop, maybe yet another branch of the Costa franchise. But no, so far no such move but considering the affluence in that part of West Lancs surely I’m not the only one to have had that thought am I?

Ormskirk – Trouble at Council meeting leads to Police being called over Planning objections

The Liverpool Echo has the story on this web site – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/west-lancashire-local-plan-police-15141325

Planning applications, particularly those for vast new urban housing estates on what has to date been Green Belt and/or high grade agricultural land, always causes huge public upset. We’ve seen it neighbouring Sefton Borough in Formby, Southport and Lydiate/Maghull as is recorded on this blog site numerous times.

Having been on a Borough Planning Committee my thoughts are this. Local people do not have enough control over how their communities are developed, the planning system is far too complicated and difficult for ordinary folk to engage with and Councils are poor at engaging with their own residents.

As I’ve have also said time and time again there is a huge disconnect between planning and environmental policy making with the environment usually taking 2nd place in the process.

But probably more than anything else I bet that the house building that is planned for West Lancashire will, like in Sefton Borough, fail to meet the actual needs of local people anyway. More 3, 4 and 5 bedroomed properties when the need is almost bound to be for social housing, smaller properties & bungalows/single level properties. The land will be sacrificed, often land that grows the food we eat, but even then housing need in the real world will sadly not be met.

No wonder folk get angry with the system!

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Maghull – Some ‘from experience’ reflections on that new North Station

Maghull North Station car park

Well firstly the car park seems to be too small already and the station’s been open less than 3 months! It was full on Monday 3rd September at 2.30pm and I only got a space because a car left whilst I was in the car park. I hear that others have had similar experiences.

View of Liverpool bound platform at Maghull North Station

Secondly, there’s only one passenger shelter on the busy Liverpool bound platform and it is open to the elements so to speak. I have the feeling that this new station may well be unwelcoming in poor cold weather conditions. Did the budget not stretch to a enclosed heated shelter for the winter months I wonder?

The level access point off School Lane that still needs sorting out.

Really pleased that others have joined the campaign to try to push Persimmon Homes to get a trot on in finishing their works so that there’s a level access point to the new station for those who can’t manage the flight of steps off School Lane (see photo above). But really this should all have been sorted before the first train stopped at the new station. We are promised early action, so let’s hope Persimmon do get on board.

And what about the originally promised access path through from Park Lane (see photo above) to the station? I’ve heard differing perspectives on this. One saying it won’t now happen due to the lack of a pavement on the side of Park Lane which the footpath would come out on. Another perspective that it simply depends on Persimmon finishing off their works. Which is correct? I’m on the case so to speak.

Maghull North Station bus stops on School Lane

And finally, I was asked recently why the 31 circular bus which serves Lydiate and parts of Maghull does not go to the new station? I raised this very point with Merseytravel way back and if I recall correctly their response was that they were not planning on any circular bus changes in the Maghull/Lydiate area at least until the new station had bedded in, or words to that effect. Well it’s been up and running for nearly 3 months now so when will the review of local buses take place? Ball firmly in Merseytravel’s court me thinks.

What happens to Merseyside’s rubbish that can’t be recycled?

All lined up – Merseyside’s waste packed into containers for a ride to the north east.

Well it’s sent to Kirkby (Knowsley Freight Terminal to be precise) where it’s loaded into containers, put on the 2 trains that leave each day and taken to the north east of England to be burned.

The destination is a power station called Wilton which uses the waste to generate electricity. Wikipedia has a page on the power station – look for ‘Wilton 11’ down the page for comment about Merseyside’s waste:-

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilton_power_stations

A double-headed (2 loco) train departs Knowsley Freight Terminal on its way to Wilton Power Station.

Waste-to-energy (WtE) or energy-from-waste (EfW) is the process of generating energy in the form of electricity and/or heat from the primary treatment of waste, or the processing of waste into a fuel source. WtE is a form of energy recovery. Most WtE processes generate electricity.

Landfill is now a very expensive and an environmentally dubious process although it is hugely more regulated than it used to be when rubbish was literally tipped into a hole in the ground with little if any thought as to the consequences of such tipping.

I recall as a child living in Maghull the tipping that was once done on Sefton Meadows during the 1960’s and 1970’s on land north and south of Sefton Lane/Bridges Lane. The southern tipping land is now forested and called Jubilee Woods and as a youngster at Ormonde High School cross country runs took you on a public footpath right through the tipping land – the smells were appalling. That same footpath is still there but walking it now you would never realise what’s under your feet.

Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority set up and negotiated the contract to send Merseyside’s non-recyclable waste to Wilton.

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

Click on any of the photos to enlarge them

The 2nd photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-

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

Maghull North Station – Still not disability and cycle accessible without a long detour

This is the only pedestrian/cycle access off School Lane without a long detour to the entrance to the new Poppy Fields estate.

As a level/accessible entrance/exit to the new Maghull North Station has still not been created off School Lane, despite the station being open for a couple of months now, I thought it was time to put some pressure on Merseytravel. My previous posting on this matter from 23rd July is accessible below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/07/23/maghull-its-new-north-station-an-accessible-interchange/

With the help of Merseytravel Committee member Cllr. John Dodd I got a response from Merseytravel which firmly puts the ball in the court of Persimmon the builder/developer of the adjacent Poppy Fields housing development. This is what Merseytravel have said:-

‘the accessible path linking School Lane adjacent to the bus stops to the station is contained on Persimmon Homes land (outside the railway and station footprint).

The issue has been recognised earlier and contact has been made with Persimmon to reinstate the path as soon as is possible in light of the issues this causes for passengers and residents. We were informed that they would do this, but there has been a passage of time since during which this work has not been done.

We have continued to apply pressure to them to reinstate this path but would welcome any support from Sefton and local Councillors to encourage Persimmon to complete this work.’

This is the access point which Merseytravel are referring to:-

So the spotlight is now shining on Persimmon Homes to get a wriggle on and complete the required work so that there is a level/accessible entrance to the new station off School Lane. Come on Persimmon surely this is a minor task in the great scheme of your housing development works at Poppy Fields. Surely we all want to see life made a little easier for those who can’t manage steps and indeed for cyclists arriving at the new station from the Maghull direction.

Cllr. Edie Pope and I would welcome any pressure that others can put on Persimmon. Their e-mail address is:- feedback@persimmonhomes.com