New pollution charges for diesel drivers?

Boris Johnson is considering plans to charge all diesel vehicle drivers an extra £10 to drive in central London while other cities across the country are looking urgently at ways to cut diesel fumes in order to comply with clean air rules from Europe. The EC launched legal proceedings against Britain in February for breaching air pollution limits. Defra has admitted that unless tougher action were taken London, Birmingham and Leeds would be exposed to dangerous air pollution from vehicle exhausts until the 2030s. London’s ‘ultra-low emission zone’ would also see petrol cars bought before 2006 charged the extra levy.

Picture c/o wikipedia

Picture c/o wikipedia

The Times & The Daily Telegraph carried this story recently.

This is an interesting environmental story because it is not so long ago that we were all in effect told that if we bought diesel powered cars it would reduce pollution. I was caught out by such bad advice and many other drivers were too. Now diesel powered vehicles are seen to be a pollution problem not a pollution solution.

I have posted before about air pollution in places like Bootle with ships and trucks going to and fro to the docks being a concern in addition to many private cars and vans being diesel powered. See link below:-

Narrow Boats, barges, maintenace boats and cruisers – All seen in Lydiate

Lydiate is blessed with having the Leeds Liverpool Canal flowing through it as indeed are the other Sefton Borough communities of Melling, Maghull, Aintree Village, Netherton, Litherland and Bootle. Lydiate is also the home, as I have posted before, of the Mersey Motor Boat Club.

A walk along the length of the canal through Lydiate can bring forth all kinds of sights and sounds of canal boating. Narrow boats, barges, maintenance boats, cruisers etc. All these shots were taken on the same day in May 2014:-

A canal barge – wide in comparison with a narrow boat:-


Narrow Boats aplenty:-



A short narrow boat

A short narrow boat

A medium length narrow boat

A medium length narrow boat

Maintenance Barge

Maintenance Barge

A Canal Cruiser

A Canal Cruiser

Some of these photos are amongst my Flickr shots at:-

World War 1 in Bootle

I have previously posted photo’s of the wall-art in the former railway tunnel of Bootle’s Langton Dock Branch which is now a pedestrian walkway under the present Bootle New Strand Station. See link below:-

This is the last of my shots of the wall-art but considering it is the 100 anniversary of the start of WW1 in 2014 I thought it appropriate to give this final shot the individual consideration that it deserves.


This photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-

Idyllic scenes in urban Sefton

Here are 3 photos; do you have any idea where they were taken?




The first two are of the same place, just differing angles – It’s The Dell in Maghull at the busy junction of Liverpool Road North and Westway across the road from the Hare and Hounds Pub. If you were there at this time of year, when the trees are in full leaf, it would only be the drone of the traffic that would give away the fact that this is not in the middle of the countryside.

Maghull in Bloom volunteers working with offenders from Melling’s Kennet Prison are presently undertaking long-term ecological work at The Dell.

The 3rd photo is off a section of the Leeds Liverpool Canal right in the heart of Bootle Village and next to the Strand Shopping Centre. The shot was taken from the bridge that takes Stanley Road over the canal where taxi’s and buses predominate.

It just goes to show that in urban town centres a little oasis of green can make all the difference.

Click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

These photos are amongst my Flickr shots at:-

Aintree Pub – reused for a different business purpose

I have commented before on the closure of pubs; The Priory in Litherland being one where locals, in that case, have tried to move heaven and earth to save their pub.

Another one to go recently was The Aintree in Aintree Road Bootle and I feared that this architecturally interesting building could be demolished or significantly altered. However, it is being reused in a sensitive way by a motor factor company and the integrity of the interesting facade has been retained.


Although not an old building the herringbone brickwork shows that some imagination went into the design of this pub back in days when striking buildings were not uncommon as pubs.

Diesel engine pollution – Find a solution before Bootle becomes a particulates black spot!

The Guardian has the story.

It is precisely this sort of concern that I have about the management of transport access to the enlarged Seaforth Docks in Bootle. My postings of 24th April and 2nd May provide more background to this issue.

I don’t think anyone wants to stop the economic benefits of the expansion of the docks in Bootle but if the transport corridor (A5036 – Dunnings Bridge Road, Church Road, Princess Way) from Switch Island to the docks is going to become a sea of lorries churning out diesel fums and particulates then some serious thinking needs doing now. The consequences on the health of those living close to congested transport corridors has to be solved before the lorries start thundering through the southern part of Sefton.

Rail transport is, of course, part of the solution but not via diesel powered locomotives pulling heavy container trains up the steep inclines from the docks without the particulates they emit being safely managed. Electrification of the rail route would be the sensible way forward.