Switch Island – The accident hot spot where the obvious seems to have been all but ignored?

I’m probably getting near to doing this one to death but with Highways England having just spent a few £m on ‘upgrading’ it for safety reasons I’m struggling to see how they have effectively tackled speeding.

To my mind, one of the major issues at this junction has always been the approach speed of vehicles coming off the M57. Yes, I know that unfamiliarity with the junction (by infrequent users) and the complexity of it leads to accidents as well due to drivers veering from lane to lane. And it seems to be this aspect that Highways England has tried to address with new signage (although some say it has made things worse), lane lights etc. BUT the vital speeding aspect has seemingly been ‘addressed’ by just putting up large (and largely ignored) 50mph and 40 mph signs towards the end of the M57. That they are ignored is sadly a given.

The other day I was traveling from Maghull to the Aintree Retail Park so had to cross the end of the M57. As I waited at the lights to cross the M57 traffic two cars literally flew past at goodness knows what speed and the drivers must have been banking on having green lights right through to the junction and onto Brooms Cross Road because the speed they were going meant there was no way they were going to be stopping.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the M57 needs speed cameras at the end of it just like the M62 has at the Liverpool end just before the Rocket junction. So the question Highways England is why has this obvious safety aspect been ignored?

Oh and by the way, having spent all that money how come a street lamp has not been moved out of the middle of the cycle path yet around Switch Island? Highways England were informed of the need to sort this out well before they started the project by me and indeed by Sefton Council’s Rights of Way Officer.

Over to you Highways England…………

With thanks to Keith Page for the lead to this posting

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Liverpool – Its former St. James Station – Will it ever reopen?

The Liverpool Echo has the article (with the rather over-optimistic headline?) on its website – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/business/inside-abandoned-st-james-station-15732458

I’ve posted about this long talked about reopening project before – here’s a link to my previous blog:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/09/08/liverpool-st-james-station/

The trouble with railway wish list projects like this is that they rarely move forward and what about the price tag – est £50m – for the new station! How on earth do we manage to get such a huge price tag for a new railway station? There must be something wrong with how railway infrastructure is procured in the UK?

Bus Lanes – Ditched in Liverpool for political brownie points – Well that’s my view

The Liverpool Echo has the article on its website – see link below

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/mayor-joe-andersons-decision-scrap-15699959

I’ve always thought that taking out 22 of Liverpool’s 26 bus lanes was a backwards step which would inevitably mean later running and more unreliable buses plus it was certainly a poke in the eye to all who hold environmental issues close to their hearts.

Yes, it was popular with many car and van drivers; well it would be wouldn’t it! My guess is that it was done to make it look like having an elected Mayor for Liverpool City meant that decisive policy changes could be easily and popularly be made. In other words, it was a political decision with little thought towards the need to challenge how the majority of us need to change our travelling habits.

That Nottingham is mentioned in the Echo article is very much to the point because that city is one that’s leading the charge to change the way its citizens move around and make those movements more sustainable. It’s a long-term process for change but if Nottingham’s trams are anything to go by the changes are all for the better.

A Nottingham NET Tram at the Phoenix Park terminus.

And Nottingham’s buses are pretty good too and seemingly reasonably reliable because of bus priority lanes and accurate on-time information about them.

Display on No.58 Nottingham bus

The bottom line is that since the failed Merseytram project Liverpool has not had a plan to make its public transport and particularly its bus network 1st class for modern day use and indeed expectations. Yes we can have a complete restructure of our bus network akin to re-regulating it (as Merseytravel are inching towards and I agree with) but if the infrastructure is not there to produce fast, reliable buses that go where people want them to go then those that can afford to will continue to use their polluting cars and accept that sitting in traffic jams is just the way that it is. Those who can’t afford to run cars or don’t wish to run cars then have no choice and are saddled with a dysfunctional bus network to get them around the city.

No, backing out of bus priority lanes was a backwards step. It got some short-term political gain but for long-term congestion and poorer transportation in the city. Not clean, not green, no fast efficient buses, no vision for transportation in a thriving city. Now go look at Nottingham and see how things can be done……..

Crime on Merseyside’s railway stations

Liverpool Lime Street Station at night.

The Liverpool Echo has the article on its website – see link below

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/revealed-merseyside-railway-stations-youre-15699984

A Virgin Trains Pendolino train at Liverpool Lime Street Station.

There’s every danger with looking at crime stats and trying to interpret them that folk become more fearful of crime than they need to be. But the positive side of talking about railway stations where crime is an issue is to make travellers more aware of what is going on around them on busy stations. It’s a question of balance as with most things of course.

Southport Station.

Hall Road Station – A rare railway accident in 1961

I came across this accent via a report in the Daily Telegraph which had been posted on the Mersey Railways Facebook Group and found it interesting not least because railway accidents are thankfully so rare and this one was in the present Borough of Sefton.

Here’s the cutting:-

And here’s a link to the official report into the accident:-

www.railwaysarchive.co.uk/docsummary.php?docID=746

It seems remarkable that so few injuries particularly serious ones were recorded especially when you look at the photo of the damage to the 2 trains in the Telegraph photo.

Credit for the cutting – Phil Hilton

Please click on the newspaper cutting to enlarge it

Southport – Sainsburys’ Meols Cop development troubles

Cllr. John Pugh

Southport’s former MP is still on the campaign trail as a Sefton Borough Councillor for Dukes Ward; here he’s taking on the might of Sainsburys as the link below to a Liverpool Echo article details:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/controversial-sainsburys-store-ever-built-15632011