Cycle Routes – They are generally poor

The BBC has the article on its website – see link below

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-46179270

As a cyclist, I find this article interesting and to the point. I’ve commented before along the similar lines by highlighting local cycle route inadequacies which I have encountered.

Often segregated cycle routes do not have logical ends and are in effect bits and pieces between destinations. The route from Switch Island to Ormskirk along the busy A59 is an example. From Switch Island to the Maghull boundary there’s a brand new cycle path but it stops well short of Liverpool Road South. Yes, I know that Sefton Council intends to address this but really it should have been done in tandem with Highways England doing the first stretch.

But then moving north through Maghull & Lydiate a safe cycle route has yet to be sorted out. It’s either the busy dual carriageway or pavement for cyclists.

A59 Cycle path becomes narrow pavement at Robins Island.

Then at Robins Island, a cycle path appears again, on both sides of the A59. Generally, it is in good condition but parts of it are not – patches of grass, poorly completed surface repairs & tree roots make the later stages of these cycle lanes poor. But then as you climb into Aughton the cycle route peters out altogether just like through Maghull & Lydiate. This makes the last mile or so into Ormskirk a cycling challenge.

This was the state of the Cheshire Lines Path through Great Altcar Civil Parish in the winter of 2017 – it’s not got any better.

I could illustrate other problem routes where cycling facilities in Sefton and West Lancashire are inadequate but will settle for just one. The Cheshire Lines Path/Trans Pennine Trail. This former railway track is in very poor condition through West Lancs because since it was created there has not been the regular maintenance that is clearly required. Some of the route is now really only suitable for mountain bikes and a once wide path where cyclists could pass each other is presently very narrow in places.

There is much to do to make our cycling routes safe, logical and well maintained.

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Maghull Station – Rebuilding the Station Master’s House

After many years of decline, it looks like work has now started to rebuild Maghull Station’s Station Masters House as part of the redevelopment and house building project behind the Liverpool bound platform. Here’s a photo I took on Remembrance Day on my way into Liverpool:-

It’s said (by no lesser person than Les French Chairman of the Maghull based Frank Hornby Trust) that the railway buildings of Maghull Station were a probable inspiration for Maghull’s world-famous toy maker Frank Hornby who lived just yards away from the station and who caught the train to work there regularly. On that basis, the derelict Station Master’s house has sadly been an unfortunate stain on the Town’s character in recent years.

Here’s hoping for a more positive future for a historic railway building………

Merseyrail – Encounters on a suburban rail network

Merseyrail Class 508 EMU at Maghull Station

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

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/things-only-happen-merseyrail-commute-15367569

This Echo article made me think of a journey from Liverpool to Maghull late one night a few years ago. There was a guy so stoned that he kept falling asleep whilst he was trying to eat his chips. He was a happy drunk but trying to stay awake long enough to find his mouth with a chip was a challenge and he entertained a number of his fellow travellers. I guess he would not even be allowed to get on a train in that state now, which is probably for the better I might add.

Also, our daughter Jen is not someone you should get on a Merseyrail train with because there seems to be a remarkable chance that if you do the train will break down. It’s happened to her a number of times whilst so far it’s not happened to me at all. Jen thinks Merseyrail is unreliable and she can’t understand why it has such excellent on-time stats for its trains.

And yes I’ve seen the electronic on-train indicator panels that are in all the carriages showing duff information. I recall once that no matter which station we stopped at on the way into Liverpool it kept saying each one was Aughton Park!

Remembrance day in Liverpool – Singing Our Socks Off

I’ve never been to a large city Remembrance Day event before but today I went into Liverpool seemingly with half the rest of the world as our 3 car Ormskirk Line Merseyrail train was packed out and cosy standing room only by the time we got to Liverpool Central Station.

This was the scene outside St. Georges Hall where the main event was taking place:-

And here’s a shot of hundreds of thousands of poppies being released from atop St. John Beacon:-

I then went on to Liverpool’s famous bombed out church – St. Lukes – at the top of Bold Street to see a performance by local Sefton Borough based community choir – Singing Our Socks Off. They were excellent – www.facebook.com/sosoclubchoir/

They were singing war songs and a large crowd had gathered to hear them:-

I always think of my dear old friend Charles ‘Uncle Albert’ Walker who died last year in his mid-90’s as he was fire watching on top of George Henry Lees Department Store the night the incendiary bomb hit St. Lukes. Charles was a proud former RAF Sergeant who as an aircraft electrician worked on virtually every type of Allied aircraft during WWII.

On my way into Liverpool on the over-crowded Merseyrail train, I got talking to two elderly gents proudly wearing medals. It turned out that they were brothers and one was wearing their Grandfather’s medals from the Boer War and WW1 and the other was wearing their Father’s medals from WWII.

All in all an unforgettable day in Liverpool

The 2nd and 4th photos are also amongst my Flickr shots at:-

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

Runcorn/Widnes – The Ethelfleda Railway Bridge pedestrian footpath

Here’s a fascinating bit of Liverpool City Region railway history which I have only just caught up with – The story and write-up is from ‘Old Liverpool Railways‘ and can be accessed on YouTube via the link below:-

www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMtl3HCSHw0

Click on the photo (which is also amongst my Flickr shots at:- www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/) to enlarge it.