Maghull Station it’s a winner! RAIL magazine has the story

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I posted recently about Maghull Station winning the national Small Station of the Year Award and the latest edition of RAIL magazine carries a story about all the award winning stations across the Country.

I have long admired the work of the Maghull Station Volunteers because they are at the heart of transforming Maghull Station from a drab ordinary station to what has become one of national acclaim. It may be well done Merseyrail but it’s very well done Maghull Station Volunteers.

Also, have a look at this video. It’s of a Network rail Multipurpose vehicle probably on leaf or ice clearing duties running through Maghull Station:-

www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2X9MqP8mhk

Tackle transport problems east of Southport or don’t tell me that the Merseyside Joint Authority has credibility

I can’t help but return to that Joint Authority matter for the Liverpool City Region/Merseyside as the more I think about it the balmier it looks from Sefton’s and indeed West Lancashire’s situation. Indeed, it makes me angry just to think about it.

West Lancs Borough are all but shut out of the club and Sefton instead of pressing for a wider and far more logically based sub-regional authority that covered the real travel to work geography around Liverpool simply said to its southern Merseyside neighbours yes we will join your club. No fight, no hard negotiations, no championing of the diverse needs of Sefton’s communities just a forest of Labour hands (with some surprising Tory support) toeing the line of the other Merseyside Authorities. Even St Helens has succumbed as Labour’s previous Leader there had been replaced. She, Marie Rimmer, had stood out against a takeover by Liverpool (as had the Council Leader prior to her – Lib Dem Brian Spencer) but she was removed seemingly for her independent stance.

When I spoke at the recent Sefton Council meeting, which sadly agreed to the Borough joining this odd little club, I said there was nothing in the deal for the northern half of Sefton and indeed it could well be to its detriment. The economy of Southport is clearly dependent on what goes on in West Lancashire because it, with the Irish Sea, all but surrounds the Town. Development of Southport’s tourist/seaside economy needs a boost and significantly improved transport links through West Lancashire are the key to that.

So the challenge for this new Joint Authority to me is crystal clear; sort out the major road link that is needed between the M58 and Southport (in effect an Ormskirk by-pass) and significantly enhance and reconnect the Southport – Wigan and Ormskirk – Preston railway lines. If this new Merseyside Joint Authority will commit itself to solving these problems, even though they are in West Lancashire, in say a 10 year timeframe then maybe sceptics like me will have a change of heart. Until I see the Joint Authority say ‘we will solve these issues’ written in blood then don’t ask because a combination of Merseytravel, Lancashire County Council, West Lancs Borough Council and Sefton Council have singularly failed to get these two major projects off the ground since local government reorganisation in 1974!

If I have one huge regret from my time as Leader of Sefton Council it is that this east of Southport transport conundrum was not solved. I heard much sympathy, lots of warm words and many encouraging noises but at the end of the day nothing happened.

I think the people and businesses of Southport have every right to be angry at this situation and I say this despite the valiant efforts of the Town’s MP John Pugh and many of his Lib Dem councillor colleagues. Will the Joint (Liverpool centric) Authority finally sort this out; will they even care about it? Frankly, I severely doubt it and Southport will miss out once again. And please, if they do think about taking this challenge up – no more warm words PLEASE!

Maghull Station Canopy

It’s taken a while to get to the bottom of what has been going on with regard to the historic canopy over the Liverpool-bound platform of Maghull Station but the official word from Merseytravel is that “the structure is being refurbished and not replaced” and “the damaged spars in the roof are being replaced and the asphalt roofing replaced with slate.”

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Above was the scene when I snapped the propted up canopy a few weeks ago.

Leeds Liverpool canal in Maghull

Some nice shots here of a barge negotiating the pedestrian swing bridge at Shop Lane in Maghull on Thursday 19th September. Click on each photo to make it larger.

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There can be little doubt that the canal through Sefton is now seeing a much high volume of traffic than for many, many years. Just behind the bridge is the busy Liverpool Road North, a former Turnpike Road, and the contrast between its congested traffic and the tranquillity of the canal is all too obvious to me as a local resident.

Another probe into Merseytravel – This time its a £1.7m Beatles black hole

I am wondering what more there is pop out of the sad and scandalous situation that Merseytravel finds itself in. This Labour run Authority really needs to confess all its sins which have seemingly cost us the Council tax payer a great deal of money.

This time it’s a huge investment in Beatles memorabilia, a worthy local cause in many ways but is this where a transport authority should be spending its money? I thought their reason for existing was to run or promote and/or regulate bus and train services as a priority on Merseyside, but it seems they have had other objectives.

This latest ‘here’s another Merseytravel bizzare story’ is carried in the Liverpool Post which came out today. To quote an oft use phrase you really could not make this up! Read the Post’s story via the link below:-

http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/merseytravel-pay-2million-beatles-artefacts-6128705″>

How crazy would you have to be to put a concrete fencing panel across a major road?

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The pictures above show what I am referring to. I moved this panel from the middle of the northbound carriageway of Southport Road, Lydiate last Saturday morning following a very concerned call from a local resident who could not believe her eyes when she saw it there.

And no, it had not fallen off a lorry, it had been deliberately removed from the fencing of the adjacent electricity sub-station compound and put in the road! Goodness knows what would have happened had a motorbike struck it!

How could this have been done without the person or people doing it not realising they were setting a death trap? I despair!!!!!!