A broken parking ticket machine in the Leighton Ave car park on 23rd February
Parking at Maghull Square has been a muddle in recent times. First Sefton Council did not enforce its own parking regulations, and then it passed responsibility for its Maghull car parks over to a private company. Charges then came in which may have had a detrimental effect on some shops.
We Lib Dems said that this was all going to go wrong and it has. We said giving drivers just 30 minutes free parking would not be enough and so it has proved.
Now we are told that free parking is to be increased to an hour but just in one of the 3 car parks – Leighton Avenue. However, the photo above shows that last Saturday the ticket machine (the only one serving this large car park) was broken. This then leads to another problem which I discussed with a resident when I was up at Central Square with Simon Hughes MP. I was looking to get a free 30min ticket dispensed (the machine had not been updated to allow 1 hr of free parking) as was the lady I was talking to but with the machine bust and no alternative machine for that car park being available what do you do? Do you take a chance and hope the private traffic wardens understand or do you not take the chance and take your custom elsewhere? Clearly, some folks will not want to take the chance so even when the ticket machines are not working, which seems a regular thing, the effect is to force folk away from the Central Square shops.
Why was no one at at our Labour run Council listening when residents and Lib Dem councillors raised such concerns in the first place?
I was taken with this media release which I recently picked up on and it took me back to one episode of the first series of that BBC programme called Great Railway Journeys of the World. The episode was called Coast to Coast and it followed Ludovic Kennedy as he crossed America by train in around 1980. It was probably the best programme from the original series and at one point Kennedy is talking to an aged railway man from America who gave a similar statistic to the one in this media release from Railfuture. Or the other way of saying it is ‘don’t get on the safe old train get in a car and kill yourself’!
Rail campaigners are praising an astonishing run of safety on Britain’s railways. Saturday the 23rd February will mark the sixth year in a row without a single passenger fatality in the UK.
“We congratulate the railway industry and its staff for continuing to run a safe railway for passengers” said Bruce Williamson of the group Railfuture. “There have only been two fatal accidents in the last ten years, the Grayrigg derailment in 2007 in which one person died, and at Ufton Nervet in 2004. That one was caused by a suicidal motorist who parked his car on a level crossing waiting for a train to kill him – hardly the railway’s fault. In other words, in ten years the rail industry has been responsible for just one passenger fatality – an astonishing and unprecedented run of safety. Of course, one death is one too many, and there is no room for complacency, but it does illustrate how spectacularly safe rail travel is”.
“This is in contrast to the roads where more passengers die on the roads in six hours than have died on Britain’s railways in the last six years.”
“There has not been a single fatal accident caused by a train driver since Ladbroke Grove in 1999 – because of better training, tougher recruitment standards for drivers and a new track safety system installed nationwide after Ladbroke Grove.”
Notes to editors
Railfuture is the UK’s leading independent organisation campaigning for better rail services for both passengers and freight.
Railfuture’s website can be found at: http://www.railfuture.org.uk
The other day I was talking to a chap who had lived in Maghull most of his long life and he related to me how for many years there had been talk of a second new railway station for Maghull. His message was keep fighting for it lad (I am 52) you will win one day!
Keep fighting for it I will, but in the timescale that this chap had been talking to me about we have actually lost 3 railway stations locally in the East Parishes of the Borough! They are Sefton & Maghull, Lydiate and Aintree Central – all part of the long lost Cheshire Lines Extension Railway from Aintree to Southport. I have found some photos of the stations on the Internet as below. Lydiate is first (the site is now part of the Cheshire Lines Path with virtually no sign of the old station), Aintree Central second (Deltic Way now stands on the site) and lastly Sefton & Maghull (now under Sefton Lane Industrial Estate, although the mound in Sefton Lane was originally a bridge over the railway next to the station).
I came to live in Maghull in 1968 and when I was at Ormonde Drive Secondary Modern School my favorite teacher, Jack Petty, told me how he had used the railway in its last years and how at times he had been the only passenger! He also said that at Sefton and Maghull Station they would have a cup of tea waiting for him in the morning when he came in on a train from Southport. The line closed in 1952.