Thornton – Switch Island Link Road news update

Another of my reasonably regular updates on the progress of building this new road from Switch Island to Thornton.

These shots were taken from Chapel Lane in Netherton looking both north (you can see Sefton church in this shot) and south towards Switch Island. They were taken on 14th November. Click on the photos to enlarge them.

Looks more like a canal being dug as recent heavy rain has been causing construction challenges!

Looks more like a canal being dug as recent heavy rain has been causing construction challenges!

The initial stone surface is going down in this view towards Switch Island.

The initial stone surface is going down in this view towards Switch Island.

Thornton – Switch Island Link Road

I have been tracking the progress of the building of this new road, on this blog site, for a while now having spent years campaigning for it with Thornton Parish residents in particular.

It was one of the highlights of my 30 years as a local councillor when the Coalition Government gave the project the green light but the real credit, as I have said before, goes to the people and Parish Council of Thornton who resurrected the previously killed off project. My contribution was to raise the issue within Sefton Council and then as Council Leader to take it to Regional political forms to gain support for the project. The rest as they say is history.

Here are a couple of shots of how things are changing around the junction of Long Lane and Southport Road in Thornton, where the new road will join the road through Ince Woods:-

Long Lane junction with Southport Rd, Thornton 22 10 14

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Click on the photos to enlarge them.

Money being thrown at Maghull & District by Coalition? – What does it all mean?

I made mention of the Coalition Government funding 90% of the cost of Maghull’s second railway Station in a recent posting and them previously throwing a large amount of money at the presently being built Switch Island – Thornton (to be called Broomscross Road) link road. But there is a also a 3rd project that will ‘benefit’ Maghull and district that the Coalition has recently stumped up £5.5m (again around 90% of the cost) for.

Makes you wonder why the Coalition seemingly loves throwing so much money at the East Parishes part of Sefton, does it not, especially as the previous Labour Government did not put a penny into the pot for any of these three major transportation projects.

The third major project is to make the M58 Motorway junction near Ashworth Hospital/Kennet Prison a full junction as opposed to it being half of one as it always has been. I assume the half junction was a cost cutting saving when the Motorway was originally built?

I recall that my former Lib Dem councilor colleagues Cliff Mainey & Roy Connell campaigned for it be made a full junction some years ago. Cliff/Roy you have got your wish even though it took a few years!

BUT this 3rd project, welcome though it may be at face value, is probably tied to getting that huge piece of land to the east of Maghull developed for housing and business use. Readers will recall that Labour have already voted to build what can only be termed as a massive ‘urban extension’ on a truly enormous scale on that land in the Draft Local Plan for Sefton. Have Labour now inked out the building on that site even before the Local, Plan is finalised? I think we should be told.

Separately, the site Maghull North Station is to be built on can only be said to be confusing because at face value Labour are seemingly opposed to building houses on it (it is called the Ashworth South site) for some odd reason. My previous posting refers at:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/07/22/ashworth-south-site-the-proposed-maghull-north-station/

You see the remainder of the funding for the new station (or quite a bit of it anyway) will most likely come from ‘planning gain’ associated with the building of houses on the rest of this site. Interestingly, all the environmental campaigners locally that I know are quite content for this site to be developed because it has been developed before – Moss Side Hospital previously stood on it. So why Labour have cold feet about developing it when across the road (literally across School Lane) they are ‘ploughing’ on with building more houses on Green Belt land than you can shake a stick at remains a mystery. Can Bootle Labour Party please issue clear guidance and instructions to Maghull Labour, so they know what they are doing please!

So there you have it or put it another way:-

* Switch Island – Thornton Link Road – Not funded by Labour but by The Coalition – It has all-party support and should be finished by Christmas.

* Maghull North Station – Not funded by Labour but by The Coalition – seemingly has all-party support but Labour can’t make their minds up about developing the rest of the Ashworth South site which would enable all the funding to be in place.

* M58 Ashworth Junction – Not funded by Labour but by The Coalition – but have Labour done a deal to build an ‘urban extension’ to Maghull (on Green Belt land) to get the money?

Switch Island – Thornton Link Road moves on apace

Progress on Broomscross Road, as it is to be called, is really moving on apace probably because of the excellent summer weather we have had.

It is to be called Broomscross Road after an historic cross that stood just to the east of Thornton where those carrying coffins to Sefton Church would rest on their sad journeys in times past. The new road passes close to the site of the cross.

I decided to have a look at progress of the road from a rarely seen location – Chapel Lane in Netherton (part of the Trans-Pennine Trail). This is a short dead-end (for vehicles) lane that serves just a few properties/farms off the Northern Perimeter Road. But there is an historic building here – have a look at this link for details:-

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Benet%27s_Chapel,_Netherton

This was the scene looking north and south a few days ago:-

From Chapel Lane looking south towards Switch Island.

From Chapel Lane looking south towards Switch Island.

From Chapel Lane looking north towards Thornton. You can just see the spire of Sefton Church on the right horizon.

From Chapel Lane looking north towards Thornton. You can just see the spire of Sefton Church on the mid-right horizon.

I can’t help but be pleased to see this progress after years of campaigning with the likes of Thornton Parish Council (who don’t get the credit they deserve in my book) to get this vital Link Road built.

The second photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-
www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Broomscross Road or Switch Island – Thornton Link Road

Going back to the early planning stages of this Link Road, which is presently being built, I made a plea for the historic Brickwall Lane wall to be sensitively taken down and properly rebuilt.

A small matter you may say but that wall is a part of the heritage of historic Sefton Village and its a wall I have had to badger Sefton Council to maintain in the past.

But my pleas, which I worried had not been heard, have been acted upon and the wall is being rebuilt at an angle where the new road will have a junction with Brickwall Lane. As you can guess the Lane was named after the rather unique wall with its triangular stone cappings. This is a rebuilt part of the wall and its looking great:-

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This next shot shows how the wall is being angled to form a feature on the southern side of the junction that is yet to be constructed:-

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It seems a long time ago that, in my then capacity as Leader of Sefton Council, I met the Roads Minister Mike Penning (at Switch Island) after he had announced that the Coalition was going to put up the Government’s share of the money to build the road following years of the previous Labour Government not stumping up the cash. In fact it was less than 4 years ago. Here’s a photo taken at the time:-

27th October 2010 - having just agreed the deal to build the Link Road with Coalition Roads Minister Mike Penning MP.

27th October 2010 – having just agreed the deal to build the Link Road with Coalition Roads Minister Mike Penning MP.

Switch Island to Sefton Village – A golden landscape

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We can easily forget what beautiful part of the world we live in. Standing with my back to the busy Switch Island this idyllic vista came into view. Historic Sefton Church and Sefton Village are in the background and the raised bunds of the River Alt are on the right together with Jubilee Woods. Just out of shot to the left are the ongoing works to build the new Switch Island to Thornton Link Road – Brooms Cross Road as it is to be called. Also just out of shot on the right is the embankment of the former Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway.

This photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-
www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/