Maghull – North Station fence and cycle path

Maghull North Station as it was nearing completion in 2018

I’ve blogged about Maghull new 2nd railway station many times, often with a little frustration about the design details which have been left hanging well after the station opened.

Now don’t get me wrong (a Jim Sharpe’ism – Jim is a journalist on our local Champion newspaper) having campaigned for the station to be built I’m happy that it has been, but for the life of me some of the issues with it should not still be issues now, well over a year since it was opened.

The good news is that a significant length of the old decaying wooden fence left over from the former Moss Side Hospital site has now been removed along the site’s School Lane boundary. I think that fellow environmental campaigner Frank Sharp (no relation to Jim) will have had a hand in this via his chivying of Merseytravel etc.

Now about that cycle/footpath which opened recently and connects the new station with both School Lane and Park Lane. It’s very welcome but at the School Lane end there’s still no dropped kerb for cyclists to access it and the new station via the level access. I lose count of the number of times I’ve pointed this out to Sefton Council and Merseytravel. This photo illustrates:-

whilst at the Park Lane end it does have a dropped kerb:-

At neither end does the path have any pedestrian barriers though and I would have thought that barriers erected in a chicane-type arrangement would make things safer in respect of children running out onto the road.

Small things of detail in many ways, and yes I’m sure there are much bigger matters to think about, but never the less you’d think such straight forward and cheap to fix issues would be all a part of the station building and it’s wider access environment planning.

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Sefton – Walking routes accessible via mobility scooters

Some time ago Sefton Council produced a packet of 24 walks throughout the Borough. 3 of them are suitable for those using mobility scooters. I thought it may be worthwhile publishing the details of these routes:-

Click on each one to enlarge for reading.

Lydiate – Taking the dark path

Keith Page of Nursery Road mentioned to me that the footpath through to Normington Close from Lambshear Lane is not easily negotiated at night due to the street lamp in it being up within the canopy of trees.

In turn I raised the matter at a recent Lydiate Parish Council meeting where Borough Councillor Pat O’Hanlon was present. Pat took the matter up and I understand the tree which blocks the light will be attended to by the land owner. Interestingly, it also turns out the the street light is not switching off in daylight hours so that needs to addressed too by Sefton Council.

Note:- The street lamp is near where the path takes a sharp left turn into Normington Close

Melling’s M58 Motorway junction to Knowsley by bike – Coming soon

A while back I posted about proposed plan to build a safe cycle path/route from the M58 at Ashworth alongside Prescot Road and into Kirkby. Here’s the relevant post from May 2018:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/05/02/maghull-to-kirkby-via-melling-a-cycle-path-for-prescot-road-school-lane/

Well things are starting to move and the photos in this posting shows the scene on 27th October. The shot immediately above is looking back towards the M58 junction and you can see where the present highly dangerous end is to the cycle path around the junction. I say dangerous as it’s just past the end of the bend where someone thought it would be great place for cyclists to rejoin the road with them being unsighted of vehicles doing high speeds around the junction. Suffice to say that having tried to do the right thing a couple of times on my bike and seen how dangerous it was I have since continued along what is actually pavement a while longer before regaining the road. I would add that this is the only section of pavement I cycle on locally but it seems I won’t have to now.

My understanding is that the first section of new cycle path is being constructed by the contractor who is building the M58 slip roads. The remainder of the cycle route will be constructed in the next financial year (2020/21) once the legal agreements have been completed for the land transfers.

My thanks to Sefton Council highway engineers for the update.

Click on the photo to enlarge it.

Nodding Donkeys – The Pacer, a bus on railway wheels, is still sadly with us

A Pacer at Preston Station

I came across the You Tube video (see link below) pretty much by chance even though it’s on a matter I have blogged about a number of times before i.e. the infamous ‘Nodding Donkeys’ of the railway world made from bus bodies and freight van trucks. However Southport rail campaigner Eric Woodcock is on the video explaining in straight forward terms how the much derided Pacer trains came about. It’s an interesting watch……

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucA5xIgjZBc

Inside a down at heel Pacer on the Ormskirk Preston Line

My good friend and former MP for Southport John Pugh campaigned to rid us of these terrible trains and here’s a link back to his work on the matter:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/02/07/pacers-are-thankfully-on-their-last-legs-or-is-that-wheels/

Town Green – That long empty shop unit I thought could be a perfect Costa

A while back I speculated on the future of the former Spar shop on Town Green Lane – here’s my posting from Sept 2018:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/09/14/aughton-empty-shop-unit-at-town-green-surely-a-coffee-shop-opportunity/

Well things move on and there’s what seems to be a controversial application before West Lancs Council for it to be a bar selling food – here’s a link to the item on West Lancs Council’s planning website:-

pa.westlancs.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?keyVal=PXB8ATRHHYA00&activeTab=summary

There’s an alcohol license application too, I’ve noted.

I take an interest in this spot because it’s a regular stopping point for me on cycle rides to get a coffee and a bite to eat. But what I’ve noticed is that some pretty bad vehicle driving takes place here because Town Green Lane is in effect a single track road past the shops as one side is for parking vehicles to access the retail premises.

I’ve often thought that, apart from ridiculous parking stunts blocking the pavement on the Co-Op side (the Co-Op does have a large car park I might add), the main issue is vehicles approaching the area far to fast. A couple of significant speed humps would tackle this in my humble opinion.